10:45pm Sunday 31 May 2020

Shortened Radiation Course Shown to Lessen Chance of Recurrence of Non-Invasive Breast Cancer

New Brunswick, N.J.– Findings by a researcher at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) highlighting the benefit of a shortened radiation course for patients with the most common type of non-invasive breast cancer are part of a feature article in the journal Cancer due out tomorrow.  Sharad Goyal, MD, assistant professor of radiation oncology at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, is the lead investigator on the research, which focuses on patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) who have had a lumpectomy.  CINJ is a Center of Excellence of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.  

In DCIS, the cancer cells are inside the milk ducts of the breast but have not spread to surrounding breast tissue. In a previous study (Intergroup Study E5194) by the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, radiation therapy was withheld from a low-risk subset of patients with DCIS after removal of the cancer. At five years, the local recurrence rate for low- and intermediate-grade patients was 6.1 percent and 15.3 percent for high-grade patients.

The current study, conducted by Dr. Goyal; senior author Bruce G. Haffty, MD, chair of radiation oncology at CINJ and professor and chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; and colleagues looked at 70 patients between 2002 and 2004 who met the enrollment criteria for the previous study. 

Following lumpectomy, patients in the new study were offered accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI), which is a one-week course of treatment that targets the specific area of the breast cavity where the cancer was removed.  Investigators found that compared to the previous study, where radiation therapy was withheld, APBI greatly reduced the rate of local recurrence for low-risk DCIS patients (zero percent compared to 6.1 percent for low- to intermediate-grade patients and 5.3 percent compared to 15.3 percent for high-grade patients). 

Colleagues on the study include Frank Vicini, William Beaumont Hospital, MI; Peter D. Beitsch, Dallas Breast Center, TX; Martin Keisch, Miami Brachytherapy Center, FL; Sabin Motwani, CINJ and UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; Jacqueline S. Jeruss, Northwestern University; and Maureen Lyden, MD Anderson Cancer Center, TX.

About The Cancer Institute of New Jersey
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (www.cinj.org) is the state’s first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center dedicated to improving the detection, treatment and care of patients with cancer, and serving as an education resource for cancer prevention. CINJ’s physician-scientists engage in translational research, transforming their laboratory discoveries into clinical practice, quite literally bringing research to life.  To make a tax-deductible gift to support CINJ, call 732-235-8614 or visit www.cinjfoundation.org. CINJ is a Center of Excellence of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. 

The CINJ Network is comprised of hospitals throughout the state and provides the highest quality cancer care and rapid dissemination of important discoveries into the community. Flagship Hospital: Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. System Partner: Meridian Health (Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Ocean Medical Center, Riverview Medical Center, Southern Ocean Medical Center, and Bayshore Community Hospital). Major Clinical Research Affiliate Hospitals: Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Morristown Memorial Hospital, Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Overlook Hospital, and Cooper University Hospital. Affiliate Hospitals: CentraState Healthcare System, JFK Medical Center, Mountainside Hospital, Raritan Bay Medical Center, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton (CINJ Hamilton), Somerset Medical Center, The University Hospital/UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School*, and University Medical Center at Princeton. *Academic Affiliate


Contact: Michele Fisher                                                         
Phone: 732-235-9872
E-mail: [email protected]       

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