Radiotherapy after mastectomy benefit for breast cancer that has spread to just a few lymph nodes

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Published: 31 Mar 2014
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Dr Paul McGale, Dr Carolyn Taylor, Dr Tim Whelan

Dr Paul McGale and Dr Carolyn Taylor from the Clinical Trial Service Unit, Oxford, and Dr Tim Whelan from McMaster University, Ontario, Canada talk to ecancertv at the EBCC 9 conference.

McGale and Taylor argue the benefits of radiotherapy treatment after mastectomy for cancer that has spread to just a few lymph nodes under the arm. McGale showed that in the case of such cancer, patients are less likely to have their disease recur or to die from it if they have radiotherapy after mastectomy, according to new research presented at the conference and published in The Lancet. 

To investigate this and follow up on their findings, Dr McGale, Dr Taylor and their colleagues are inviting investigators of more recent trials comparing different radiotherapy regimens to contribute data to the Early Breast Cancer Trialists’ Group.

Dr Whelan attests to the relative and absolute benefits of radiation for those patients with fewer affected lymph nodes, noting the significant implications of these findings for clinical practice across Europe and North America.

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