Chicago—As the era of personalized medicine unfolds, data-driven therapeutic options for use of radiation therapy in women with breast cancer are beginning to emerge.
Estrogen-receptor-positive, node-negative breast cancer in older women can be treated after lumpectomy with tamoxifen alone (without radiation), recent research suggests.
The latest research, presented here at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), appears to confirm that for women aged 70 years or older with early-stage breast cancer who have undergone a lumpectomy, radiation can be optional as long as they receive antiestrogen therapy in the form of tamoxifen. The finding is important because it could help lower health care costs. In addition, for the 30% of women in North America who, some studies suggest, undergo lumpectomy but forego radiation therapy for such reasons as inconvenience and cost, the knowledge that this option is a reasonable one should help reduce fear and anxiety.