Some early-stage breast cancer patients might be better
off with a treatment that is less extensive than the current
standard. This is one of the main conclusions of Femke van der
Leij's PhD research. She will defend her thesis on
September 13th at the University of Amsterdam.
Since patients with an early stage of breast cancer have such a
good outcome after breast conserving therapy, there is an
increasing need to treat those patients less extensively. The
treatment results turned out to be excellent in a cohort of over
10.000 breast cancer patients who have been treated with
breast-conserving therapy in the Netherlands Cancer Institute.
Femke van der Leij studied this cohort during her PhD research.
Especially elderly patients with an extra low risk tumor had a
lower risk of distant metastasis and a better overall survival.
These patients may be eligible for less extensive treatment, she
Van der Leij also describes a clinical trial in which breast
cancer patients of 60 years or older were irradiated less extensive
than normal. In this so-called PAPBI trial partial breast
irradiation was given before breast-conserving surgery, instead of
whole-breast irradiation after surgery. The first results of this
study are promising: there are few side effects and the cosmetic
result is good, if not excellent, in most patients.
You can download Van der Leij's thesis here.
Details of the defense
Femke van der Leij will defend her thesis on Wednesday September
13th, 10.00am. Location: Agnietenkapel, Oudezijds
Voorburgwal 229-231 in Amsterdam. The title of her thesis is:
Optimizing treatment of low risk breast cancer patients.
Her promotor is Marc van de Vijver (UvA). Her copromotors are Paula Elkhuizen
(Netherlands Cancer Institute) and Harry Bartelink (UvA).