Post-mastectomy radiotherapy following adjuvant chemotherapy and autologous bone marrow transplantation for breast cancer patients with greater than or equal to 10 positive axillary lymph nodes. Cancer and Leukemia Group B.
Between 2/87 and 2/91, 49 women with operable breast cancer involving greater than or equal to 10 axillary nodes were treated following mastectomy, with four cycles of Cyclophosphamide, Adriamycin, 5FU, followed by high doses of Cyclophosphamide, Cisplatin, Carmustine (HDCT) with autologous bone marrow transplant support. Forty patients received local-regional radiotherapy (generally to the chest wall, internal mammary, supraclavicular, +/- axillary nodal areas; minimum 44-50 Gy, 1.8-2 Gy/fraction, +/- 10-15 Gy scar boost; standard radiation techniques). The first nine patients did not receive local-regional radiotherapy. Three developed a local-regional failure (6-12 months after HDCT); six are without evidence of disease. Local-regional radiotherapy (LR XRT) was delivered to the subsequent 40 patients following HDCT+autologous bone marrow transplant. Six received less than 44 Gy of the planned local-regional radiotherapy due to significant toxicity and one of these failed locally. Only one local failure was observed among the 34 patients who received greater than or equal to 44 Gy. Two additional patients developed distant metastases. None of these 40 patients have failed in the axilla despite the fact that the axilla was irradiated in only 18 cases. Overall, 36/40 (90%) of these patients are without evidence of disease 4-30 months following HDCT (approximately 10-36 months after mastectomy, median 22 months). Radiotherapy was interrupted or discontinued because of progressive dyspnea, thrombocytopenia, or neutropenia in nine patients. Further studies to determine the roles of local-regional radiotherapy and HDCT in the development of these toxicities are underway. These encouraging results suggest that HDCT + autologous bone marrow transplant+local-regional radiotherapy may improve the survival rate in these high risk patients. A national randomized study to test the efficacy of this HDCT regimen is currently underway (Cancer and Leukemia Group B#9082 and Southwest Oncology Group #9114).
Marks, LB; Halperin, EC; Prosnitz, LR; Ross, M; Vredenburgh, JJ; Rosner, GL; Peters, W
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