Radiation Therapy for Early-Stage Breast Cancer
A new meta-analysis by the Early Breast Cancer Trialists' Collaborative Group (EBCTCG) has shown that radiation therapy after surgery for early breast cancer does much more than prevent local recurrence - it significantly improves 15-year survival.
In women with early-stage breast cancer treated with surgery alone, microscopic residual disease may not be eliminated and can eventually cause life-threatening metastatic recurrence. Radiation therapy has been widely recommended for local control after breast-conserving surgery (BCS) and after a complete mastectomy in women at high risk of recurrence. However, even with widespread support for these recommendations within the medical community, they are not always heeded.
Because local recurrence, when detected early, can often be treated with additional surgery alone, some physicians and patients still elect to avoid radiation therapy. Read more
A Glimpse of Things to Come
It's been nearly 3 years since I announced the 2015 challenge goal to eliminate the suffering and death due to cancer. Inherent in establishing this challenge was a commitment: NCI would pledge to accelerate the pace of progress. It would commit to build on the past and provide the leadership for creating the future. It would pledge to being courageous when facts dictated a need for change, but also to being cooperative and collaborative when reality dictated that teamwork was needed to augment individual excellence.
Like any other journey to a far-off destination, this one will be marked by the achievement of milestones and memorable events. But, most importantly, the hallmark of these efforts will be consistent progress, always hastening its pace. And that's what we are beginning to see, whether it's the mounting successes with adjuvant therapy, progress with targeted agents such as trastuzumab (Herceptin) and bevacizumab (Avastin), or important new insights into oncogenesis and metastasis. Read more