Low local recurrence rate without postmastectomy radiation in node-negative breast cancer patients with tumors 5 cm and larger

Scott R. Floyd, Thomas A. Buchholz, Bruce G. Haffty, Saveli Goldberg, Andrzej Niemierko, Rita Abi Raad, Mary J. Oswald, Timothy Sullivan, Eric A. Strom, Simon N. Powell, Angela Katz, Alphonse G. Taghian

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59 Scopus citations


Purpose: To assess the need for adjuvant radiotherapy following mastectomy for patients with node-negative breast tumors 5 cm or larger. Methods and Materials: Between 1981 and 2002, a total of 70 patients with node-negative breast cancer and tumors 5 cm or larger were treated with mastectomy and adjuvant systemic therapies but without radiotherapy at three institutions. We retrospectively assessed rates and risk factors for locoregional failure (LRF), overall survival (OS), and disease-free survival (DFS) in these patients. Results: With a median follow-up of 85 months, the 5-year actuarial LRF rate was 7.6% (95% confidence interval, 3%-16%). LRF was primarily in the chest wall (4/5 local failures), and lymphatic-vascular invasion (LVI) was statistically significantly associated with LRF risk by the log-rank test (p = 0.017) and in Cox proportional hazards analysis (p = 0.038). The 5-year OS and DFS rates were 83% and 86% respectively. LVI was also significantly associated with OS and DFS in both univariate and multivariate analysis. Conclusions: This series demonstrates a low LRF rate of 7.6% among breast cancer patients with node-negative tumors 5 cm and larger after mastectomy and adjuvant systemic therapy. Our data indicate that further adjuvant radiation therapy to increase local control may not be indicated by tumor size alone in the absence of positive lymph nodes. LVI was significantly associated with LRF in our series, indicating that patients with this risk factor require careful consideration with regard to further local therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)358-364
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer
  • Mastectomy
  • Negative lymph node
  • No radiation therapy
  • ≥5 cm


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