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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2003 Oct 1;57(2):336-44.

Locoregional recurrence after doxorubicin-based chemotherapy and postmastectomy: Implications for breast cancer patients with early-stage disease and predictors for recurrence after postmastectomy radiation.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030, USA.



To compare rates of locoregional recurrence (LRR) after mastectomy, doxorubicin-based chemotherapy, and radiation with those of patients receiving mastectomy and doxorubicin-based chemotherapy without radiation and to determine predictors of LRR after postmastectomy radiation.


Kaplan-Meier freedom-from-LRR rates were calculated for 470 patients treated with mastectomy, doxorubicin-based chemotherapy, and postmastectomy radiation in five single-institution clinical trials. The LRR rates in these patients were compared to previously reported rates in 1031 patients treated without radiation in the same trials.


Median follow-up was 14 years. Irradiated patients had significantly less favorable prognostic factors for LRR than did unirradiated patients. Despite this, in all subsets of node-positive patients, postmastectomy radiation led to lower rates of LRR. This included patients with T1 or T2 tumors and one to three positive nodes (10-year LRR rates of 3% vs. 13%, p = 0.003). Multivariate analysis of LRR for patients with this stage of disease revealed that no radiation, close/positive margins, gross extracapsular extension, and dissection of <10 nodes predicted for increased LRR (hazard ratios 6.25, 4.61, 3.27, and 2.66, respectively). Significant predictors of LRR for patients treated with postmastectomy radiation were higher number and >or=20% positive nodes, larger tumor size, lymphovascular space invasion, and estrogen receptor (ER)-negative disease. Recursive partitioning analysis revealed ER-negative status to be the most powerful discriminator of LRR in irradiated patients.


Postmastectomy radiation decreases LRR for patients with breast cancer, including those with Stage II breast cancer and one to three positive lymph nodes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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