Journal of Radiation Oncology

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 323–328 | Cite as

Therapeutic value of postmastectomy radiation therapy for T1–2 breast cancer with 1–3 positive lymph nodes

  • Yuri Kimura
  • Shinsuke SasadaEmail author
  • Noriko Goda
  • Keiko Kajitani
  • Akiko Emi
  • Norio Masumoto
  • Takayuki Kadoya
  • Morihito Okada
Original Research



Postmastectomy radiation therapy (PMRT) reduces locoregional recurrence (LRR) and breast cancer mortality for node-positive breast cancer, but its indication remains controversial in patients with 1–3 positive lymph nodes.


We retrospectively analyzed LRR and survival rates in T1–2 breast cancer with 1–3 positive lymph nodes according to PMRT. The prognostic factors and the impact of the current standard systemic therapy (early period: 2000–2007 and late period: 2008–2015) were assessed because adjuvant trastuzumab has only been approved in 2008 in Japan.


Between 2000 and 2015, 162 patients with T1–2N1 breast cancer underwent mastectomy, and 32 (19.8%) underwent PMRT. The 5-year LRR rates were 5.3% in the no PMRT group and 0% in the PMRT group (P = 0.272). Meanwhile, the disease-free survival rates were 80.6% in the no PMRT group and 96.6% in the PMRT group (P = 0.095), and the benefit of PMRT was low in the late period. The significant prognostic factors were larger tumor size (T2) and estrogen receptor negativity.


PMRT tended to improve LRR and disease-free survival. The omission of PMRT is carefully determined.


Breast cancer Lymph node metastasis Postmastectomy radiation therapy 



We thank Ai Shimamoto for data management.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Statement of ethical approval

All human and animal studies have been approved by the appropriate ethics committee and have therefore been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments. All persons gave their informed consent prior to their inclusion in the study. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Surgical Oncology, Research Institute for Radiation Biology and MedicineHiroshima UniversityHiroshima CityJapan

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