Journal of the National Cancer Institute 92(14): 1143-1150, 2000. is available online for subscribers.
Van Dongen JA, Voogd AC, Fentiman IS, et al.
Breast-conserving therapy (BCT) has been shown to be as effective as mastectomy in the treatment of tumors 2 cm or smaller. However, evidence of its efficacy, over the long term, in patients with tumors larger than 2 cm is limited. From May 1980 to May 1986, the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer carried out a randomized, multicenter trial comparing BCT with modified radical mastectomy for patients with tumors up to 5 cm. In this analysis, we investigated whether the treatments resulted in different overall survival, time to distant metastasis, or time to locoregional recurrence.
Of 868 eligible breast cancer patients randomly assigned to the BCT arm or to the modified radical mastectomy arm, 80% had a tumor of 2.1-5 cm. BCT comprised lumpectomy with an attempted margin of 1 cm of healthy tissue and complete axillary clearance, followed by radiotherapy to the breast and a supplementary dose to the tumor bed. The median follow-up was 13.4 years. All P values are two-sided.
At 10 years, there was no difference between the two groups in overall survival (66% for the mastectomy patients and 65% for the BCT patients; P =.11) or in their distant metastasis-free rates (66% for the mastectomy patients and 61% for the BCT patients; P =.24). The rate of locoregional recurrence (occurring before or at the same time as distant metastasis) at 10 years did show a statistically significant difference (12% of the mastectomy and 20% of the BCT patients; P =. 01).
BCT and mastectomy demonstrate similar survival rates in a trial in which the great majority of the patients had stage II breast cancer.
Rheinische Friedrich- Wilhelms- Universität Bonn