Radiotherapy in the Therapeutic Strategy to Breast Cancer

  • J. Stjernswärd
Part of the Recent Results in Cancer Research / Fortschritte der Krebsforschung / Progrès dans les recherches sur le cancer book series (RECENTCANCER, volume 62)


There is a great uncertainty regarding the optimal therapeutic strategy for breast cancer, not only in regard to the traditional role of surgery and radiotherapy, but also the optimal effect of cytotoxic chemotherapy treatment designs with a minimal toxicity, the optimal adjuvant hormone therapy, and the possibility of immunotherapy. The role of radiotherapy in a combined modality approach to breast cancer needs reevaluation, trying to explore the optimal effectiveness of each treatment method: surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and hormonotherapy, perhaps also immunotherapy. Much remains to be understood about how these treatment modalities work in synergism or in antagonism with each other and their optimal timing and combination so as not to over or undertreat the patient. The old hierarchic approach of using the above treatment modalities sequentially should be forgotten and replaced by an active search and identification of high risk groups with occult widespread disease at the time of diagnosis, offering these women systemic therapies. In addition, local therapies should be combined and explored wisely so as to achieve minimal morbidity and an optimal effect of systemic therapies, allowing an identification of patients with high risk for disseminated disease. There is no doubt, however, that the search for systemic adjuvant therapies that may be curative is a sound therapeutic principle in a disease that presently is disseminated in most cases at the time of diagnosis.


Breast Cancer Systemic Therapy Preoperative Irradiation Radical Mastectomy Operable Breast Cancer 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1977

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  • J. Stjernswärd

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