“Breast-conserving surgery for breast cancer is the surgical removal of the tumor, followed by radiation treatment delivered to the remaining breast tissue. For patients with a small risk of tumor tissue recurrence, such as older patients, we only deliver radiation to the area in which the tumor was located, with a safe margin. However, it can be hard to determine the area that requires radiation due to the effects of the surgery. We have researched a great new treatment for this large patient group. Six weeks before their surgery, they will receive partial breast radiation to the tumor itself and a small margin only. That means that much less tissue will receive radiation, leading to less fibrotic scarring and an improved cosmetic outcome. We have investigated the effects of radiation for the individual patient using imaging techniques and histologic examination. The results are promising, and our next step is to compare them to our current standard treatment.”
Sophie will defend his or her thesis on April 30.
Sophie’s research was financed by the Dutch Cancer Society.