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J Breast Cancer. 2009 Dec;12(4):257-264. English. Original Article.
Shim SJ , Kim YB , Keum KC , Lee IJ , Lee HD , Suh CO .
Department of Radiation Oncology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Yonsei Cancer Center, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Yonsei Cancer Center, Seoul, Korea.

PURPOSE: To assess the appropriateness of radiotherapy volume for patients receiving breast-conserving treatment (BCT) through analysis of recurrence pattern and factors affecting recurrence. METHODS: From 1991 to 1996, 362 patients who received BCT were retrospectively evaluated. The radiation volume was the involved breast alone in the patients with less than 4 positive axillary lymph nodes (LNs), and breast and supraclavicular fossa in patients with 4 or more positive axillary LNs. The median follow-up period was 123 months (range, 3-169 months). RESULTS: Ten-year overall, disease-free, local recurrence-free, and regional recurrence-free survival rates were 86.2%, 82.2%, 95.9%, and 95.2%, respectively. Among 310 patients receiving radiotherapy on the breast alone, 15 (4.8%) had regional recurrence. In particular, patients with inner quadrant lesions had high regional recurrence rates (11/98, 11.2%) (p<0.001). CONCLUSION: These low local recurrence rates may reveal that the current radiotherapy technique was successful. However, in cases of inner quadrant lesions, there were a considerable number of regional recurrences, even in N0 cases. This may suggest a potential role for irradiation on regional LNs in this group.

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