LVI in breast tissue predicts recurrence of breast cancer in regional lymph nodes

October 25, 2015

The team searched for factors aside from LVI that determine outcomes. The disease was more likely to invade lymph nodes in women younger than 35. Also, additional radiation therapy under the armpit via a technique called a posterior axillary boost (PAB) lead to fewer breast cancer recurrences in these women's regional lymph nodes. Ironically, this extra procedure led to less regional recurrence even though the women were of higher risk than other treatment groups. Overall, the 10-year recurrence rate was only 1.4%. But it was 4% for women treated with radiation above the collar bone alone, compared to 0.5% for those who also received a PAB - the posterior boost of radiation under the armpits.

"Our data suggest that patients who are at higher risk of their cancer spreading can potentially benefit from additional radiation by a technique called a posterior axillary boost," Lubbe says. "But the recommendation to add radiation, and what technique is used, is very patient-specific, because with any intervention there's additional risk."

In the future, Lubbe would like to identify other objective biological markers, such as proteins or genes, which predict recurrence rates and patient outcomes. "Ultimately, we'd like to find a faster and more accurate process for assessing the risk of cancer spread to regional lymph nodes and the rest of the body," Lubbe says.

Source: Fox Chase Cancer Center