Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
N Engl J Med. 1993 Jun 3;328(22):1587-91.

Radiotherapy after breast-preserving surgery in women with localized cancer of the breast.

Author information

  • 1Istituto Nazionale per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.



Conservative surgery and radiotherapy have become well-established treatments for breast cancer, and many trials in progress are attempting to define the most acceptable type of procedure. Between 1987 and 1989 we randomly assigned 567 women with small breast cancers (< 2.5 cm in diameter) to quadrantectomy followed by radiotherapy or to quadrantectomy without radiotherapy. All patients underwent total axillary dissection. The median follow-up period was 39 months (range, 28 to 54).


The incidence of local recurrence was 8.8 percent among the patients treated with quadrantectomy without radiotherapy, as compared with 0.3 percent among those treated with postsurgical radiotherapy (P = 0.001). However, there was a substantial effect of age: patients more than 55 years old who did not receive radiotherapy had a low rate of local recurrence (3.8 percent). The four-year overall survival was similar in the two treatment groups.


Administering radiotherapy after quadrantectomy reduces the risk of local recurrence in women with small cancers of the breast, but radiotherapy may not be necessary in elderly women.

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Atypon
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk