SATURDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Radiation therapy that
targets a specific area of the breast is as effective as
whole-breast radiation in reducing breast cancer recurrence in some
women and is far more convenient, a new study suggests.
Researchers led by Jayant S. Vaidya of University College
London, and David Joseph of the University of Western Australia,
examined the medical records of almost 1,000 breast cancer patients
who received (targeted) intraoperative radiotherapy and a nearly
equal number who underwent whole-breast external beam
A few received both treatments.
After four years, six women in the intraoperative radiotherapy
group had a recurrence of breast cancer, compared to five in the
external beam group.
The researchers caution that the patients in the study fit into
a limited category: They were 45 years or older, had early invasive
breast cancer and were considered appropriate candidates for
The study findings, published online before print publication in
The Lancet, were to be released Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago.
The targeted radiation requires just one session, making it less
time consuming and less costly than whole-breast treatment, the
For selected patients with early breast cancer, a single dose of
radiotherapy delivered at the time of surgery by use of targeted
intraoperative radiotherapy should be considered as an alternative
to external beam radiotherapy delivered over several weeks, they
said in a news release.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more on