Low risk of a local recurrence 5 years after surgery for early breast cancer patients

Barcelona, Spain: Women with small, low grade, well-defined breast tumours and a genetic profile that shows they are at low risk of the cancer metastasising have only a 1.4% risk of the cancer returning to the site of the original tumour or the nearby lymph nodes (known as locoregional recurrence) within five years, according to new results from a large randomised trial of nearly 7000 patients.

This low risk of locoregional recurrence was seen regardless of whether the women had a mastectomy (the whole breast removed) or breast conserving surgery, in which just the tumour and some surrounding tissue are removed, followed by radiotherapy of the whole breast.

Presenting the latest results from the MINDACT trial [1] at the 11th European Breast Cancer Conference, Professor Emiel Rutgers, a surgeon at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam (The Netherlands), said the findings meant that it was possible to identify women who could safely avoid not only chemotherapy after surgery, but possibly also radiotherapy – both toxic treatments that can have debilitating effects on women’s physical and mental well-being and quality of life.

“These findings show that, for these selected women, breast conservation is as good as mastectomy, and the risk of relapse is so


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