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Cancers 2010, 2(2), 740-751; doi:10.3390/cancers2020740

Do All Patients Require Radiotherapy after Breast-Conserving Surgery?

1,*  and 2
1 Department of Surgery, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, 3050, Australia 2 The Breast Service, The Royal Melbourne and Royal Women’s Hospital, Parkville 3050, Australia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 February 2010 / Revised: 19 April 2010 / Accepted: 26 April 2010 / Published: 28 April 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Breast Cancer)
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Radiotherapy following breast conservation is routine in the treatment of breast cancer. This creates a large demand for radiotherapy services with implicit cost effects and potential morbidity to patients. Radiotherapy is administered to decrease local recurrence, but is radiotherapy required for all breast cancers? A literature search using the Medline and Ovid databases was conducted between 1965 and 2010 using the terms ‘role of radiotherapy’, ‘early breast cancer’, and omission of radiotherapy’. Papers with clinical trials published in English in adult humans were included. Fourteen randomized controlled trials were included. Local recurrence rates range from 0.8–35% in patients in whom radiotherapy was omitted. Low risk characteristics include older age, small tumor size, no lymphovascular invasion and low to moderate grade. At present, there is no clearly defined low risk group of patients in whom radiotherapy can be omitted.
Keywords: breast conservative therapy; radiotherapy; ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence breast conservative therapy; radiotherapy; ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Skandarajah, A.R.; Mann, G.B. Do All Patients Require Radiotherapy after Breast-Conserving Surgery? Cancers 2010, 2, 740-751.

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