Older breast cancer patients may not need radiotherapy

2019 01 19 00 20 7950 Radiotherapy Breast Cancer 400

Women over the age of 55 with early-stage breast cancer may not need radiotherapy after breast-conserving surgery, according to research presented June 7 at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's (ASCO) annual meeting in Chicago.

A team of researchers led by Dr. Timothy Whelan of McMaster University in Canada found that older patients with stage I breast cancer displaying a specific biomarker pattern identifying the luminal A subtype can be effectively treated with just surgery and endocrine therapy.

Teaming up with the Ontario Clinical Oncology Group at Hamilton Health Sciences, the research group tracked 501 patients with luminal A breast cancer for five years after surgery. Those who didn't receive radiotherapy after surgery had a 2.3% breast cancer recurrence rate, roughly comparable to the 1.9% risk the patients had of developing a new breast cancer in their other untreated breast.

The researchers said they are now tracking patients with the luminal A variant of breast cancer over a 10-year period to learn more about the efficiency of this treatment approach.

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