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Eileen Connolly, MD, PhD, discusses the possible benefit of postmastectomy radiation for patients with breast cancer.
Eileen Connolly, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of radiation oncology at Columbia University Medical Center, discusses the possible benefit of postmastectomy radiation for patients with breast cancer.
Postmastectomy radiation has traditionally been used in the upfront setting for patients who have ≥4 positive lymph nodes, inflammatory breast cancer, or large primary tumors in the breast, with inflammatory being a separate subtype that may require radiation as well, says Connolly.
That has expanded with the publication of several large trials in 2015, as well as the meta-analysis from the Early Breast Cancer TrialistCollaborative Group that came out in 2014. They looked at the benefit of treating regional lymph nodes for patients with node-positive disease, establishing that there was a benefit for patients with 1 to 3 positive nodes. The National Cancer Institute of Canada MA.20 and the EORTC 22922-10925 trial were specifically designed to answer the question of whether or not there is a benefit to regional nodular radiation, concludes Connolly.