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RE: [cdn-nucl-l] Radiation Boost Wards Off Breast Cancer's Return
This article has a few
more numbers, in case you're interested...
More radiation may help some breast cancer patients
BOSTON, Nov 7 (Reuters) - When it comes to treating breast cancer with
more may be better, according to research published in Thursday's New
England Journal of Medicine.
The researchers reported that a "booster dose" of radiation can
dramatically lower the risk of the cancer reappearing in women aged 40 and
The results from a study of 5,318 women "may influence the treatment of
young women who have undergone" surgical removal of their tumor and would
normally only receive one series of radiation treatments, according to the
After a breast tumor is removed, doctors typically give about 50 units of
radiation over five weeks to prevent the cancer from reappearing. But the
success of the treatment is limited.
To test the impact of additional radiation, Dr. Harry Bartelink of the
Cancer Institute in Amsterdam and his colleagues gave 2,661 of the women an
extra 16 units.
After five years, the booster dose had little effect on the survival rate
for women 41 to 50. But for younger women, the chance of having the tumor
reappear was just 10.2 percent, compared with 19.5 percent for women who didn't
receive the extra radiation.
"We found that an additional dose to the primary tumor area nearly halved
the annual odds of local recurrence," the researchers concluded.
The extra radiation seemed to help younger women suggesting that their
tumors responded more to radiation, although the reason remains unclear, the
Dutch team said.
Although the results are "promising," the Journal's editors said, the study
"will have to
be continued with a long follow-up to determine whether the booster dose of
affects survival without increasing the risk of long-term complications" of