Postmastectomy Radiotherapy

  • Abram Recht
Part of the Cancer Treatment and Research book series (CTAR, volume 103)


Postmastectomy radiotherapy (PMRT) clearly reduces the risk of local-regional failure (LRF) for patients with invasive breast cancer. However, for many years it has been controversial whether or not this reduction also results in decreased risks of distant failure and, ultimately, death due to cancer. This was largely because randomized trials employing PMRT without systemic therapy did not show improved survival, compared to surgery alone,1–6 with the exception of one trial.7 However, simultaneous publication in the New England Journal of Medicine in October 1997 of two trials routinely employing chemotherapy suddenly brought this debate renewed life.8,9 These studies showed that giving radiation therapy following modified radical mastectomy not only reduced LRF rates but also yielded clinically-relevant improvements in disease-free and overall survival rates.


Breast Cancer Breast Cancer Patient Clin Oncol National Surgical Adjuvant Breast Positive Axillary Node 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abram Recht
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Radiation OncologyHarvard Medical School Beth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterUSA

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