The results of the EXPERT academic study could influence how 2 in 5 women with breast cancer are treated by identifying which women could be spared unnecessary radiation therapy after surgery in the future.
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The EXPERT academic study – which will involve 1,170 women from 90 hospitals and breast cancer centres linked to 8 groups from 8 countries around the globe – aims to better analyse the risk profile of breast cancer tumours in order to identify which women could be spared radiation therapy in the future. This study is coordinated and sponsored by the Breast Cancer Trials – Australia & New Zealand (BCT-ANZ) in collaboration with BIG.
Radiation therapy given together with endocrine therapy is currently the standard of care for many patients with early breast cancer who undergo breast cancer surgery. However, the real benefit of radiation treatment may vary substantially from one patient to another, and patients with a low risk of recurrence may be overtreated and exposed to unnecessary treatment side effects.
The prospect of safely de-escalating radiation therapy is of great interest to many patients, who will appreciate not being subjected to a treatment that will not benefit them significantly if their tumours are low-risk, while ensuring that patients at greater risk of relapse do receive treatment of an appropriate intensity.