Postmastectomy electron-beam-rotation irradiation in locally advanced breast cancer prognostic factors of locoregional tumor control

Thomas Hehr, Wilfried Budach, Ilona Durst, Stefan Glocker, Johannes Classen, Martin Weinmann, Gunter Christ, Michael Bamberg
Strahlentherapie und Onkologie: Organ der Deutschen Röntgengesellschaft ... [et Al] 2002, 178 (11): 624-32

BACKGROUND: Different radiotherapy techniques are used for postmastectomy irradiation. We review the results with the electron-beam-rotation technique in advanced breast cancer patients. Main endpoint was local tumor control.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: From 1990 to 1998 119 patients with adverse pathology features (pT3 17% of patients, pT4 42%, multicentricity 36%, pN >/= 3 positive nodes and/or pN1biii 81%, close margins 30%) underwent electron-beam-rotation irradiation of the chest wall with daily fractions of 2.0-2.5 Gy per day to 50 Gy total dose after modified radical mastectomy and axillary lymph node dissection. A local boost of 10 Gy and/or irradiation of locoregional lymph nodes were applied depending on the completeness of resection and lymph node involvement.

RESULTS: After a median follow-up of 73 months for patients at risk the 5-year local tumor control, local tumor control first event, disease-free, and overall survival were 82%, 92%, 57%, and 63% (Kaplen Meier analysis), respectively. Significant predictors of poor local tumor control were maximal tumor diameter >/= 5 cm (p = 0.01), "close margins" or residual tumor (p < 0.01), four or more involved axillary lymph nodes (p = 0.02), two or more involved lymph node levels (p = 0.04), negative estrogen receptor status (p = 0.03), and high-grade histopathology (GIIb-III, p < 0.01). The subgroup analysis showed a high local failure rate of 37% for high-grade (GIIb-III) and estrogen receptor negative tumors, whereas no local recurrence was found in low-grade (GI-Iia) and receptor positive tumors (p = 0.01). The multivariate analysis revealed maximal tumor diameter >/= 5 cm, four or more involved axillary lymph nodes and high-grade histopathology (GIIb-III) as independent predictors of poor local tumor control.

CONCLUSION: In high-risk breast cancer patients postmastectomy irradiation with the electron-beam-rotation technique is an effective therapy, resulting in a 5-year local failure rate of 8%. Intensified local therapy needs further investigation in subgroups of patients with additional risk factors.

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