Postmastectomy radiotherapy: a review

Ian H. Kunkler, Boon H. Chua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Purpose of review

We review the role of postmastectomy radiotherapy (PMRT) in the management of patients with early breast cancer.
Recent findings

PMRT in patients with 4 or more involved axillary lymph nodes is the current standard of care but the indications for PMRT in patients with 1–3 involved nodes remain controversial. The Early Breast Cancer Trialists’ Collaborative Group meta-analysis of randomised trials of PMRT provides the most comprehensive level 1 evidence base. However, its applicability in contemporary practice in the context of recent multidisciplinary advances in surgery, radiation therapy and systemic therapy remains challenging.

The lack of consensus on the indications for PMRT in patients with 1–3 positive nodes underpins the variations in the national and international guidelines on PMRT. We emphasise the need for contemporary randomised trial data, and the potential to refine patient selection for PMRT using novel biomarkers of recurrence and radiosensitivity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-552
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent opinion in oncology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • breast cancer
  • mastectomy
  • postmastectomy radiotherapy


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