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Article
December 1993

Breast Conservation Therapy Without Axillary DissectionA Rational Treatment Strategy in Selected Patients

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Therapeutic Radiology (Drs Haffty, D. Fischer, and J. J. Fischer) and Surgery (Drs McKhann and Beinfield), Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.

Arch Surg. 1993;128(12):1315-1319. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1993.01420240023002
Abstract

Purpose:  Patients with early stage breast cancer are being treated with adjuvant systemic therapy with increasing frequency regardless of the pathological status of the axillary lymph nodes. The purpose of this study was to determine the outcome for local regional control in patients treated with radiation therapy to the intact breast and regional lymph nodes without axillary dissection.

Patients and Methods:  The patient population for this study consists of 327 patients with clinical stage I or II invasive breast cancer who were treated by lumpectomy alone without axillary dissection followed by radiation therapy to the intact breast and regional lymph nodes. Outcome for local regional control and survival is reported.

Results:  As of December 1990, with a median follow-up of more than 10 years, the overall 10-year survival rate was 71%. There were a total of eight regional nodal failures resulting in a 5-year actuarial nodal control rate of 97%. Minimal morbidity was associated with this treatment policy.

Conclusions:  For selected patients undergoing breast preservation therapy, lumpectomy alone without axillary dissection followed by radiation therapy to the intact breast and regional lymph nodes results in a high rate of local regional control. Selected patients in whom the results of the axillary lymph node dissection will not influence decisions regarding systemic therapy are candidates for this approach.(Arch Surg. 1993;128:1315-1319)

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