Atlanta-based Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgia Presents Largest Community Center-Based Breast Cancer Treatment Study In the United States

Cancer Research Confirms Effectiveness of Breast

Conservation Therapy in the Community



Apr 02, 2001, 01:00 ET from Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgia

    ATLANTA, April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Physicians from the Atlanta-based
 Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgia (RCOG) presented research evaluating the
 largest series of breast cancer patients from a community cancer center in the
 United States.  Dr. David Holladay, Director of the Breast Cancer Program at
 RCOG says the results of these findings are significant because they represent
 the largest data set presented by a community-based treatment program in the
 U.S.
     RCOG's findings, resulting in two studies, evaluate the success rate for
 women treated for breast cancer using breast conservation therapy.  Breast
 conserving therapy lets a woman with cancer keep her breast by removing the
 tumor (lumpectomy) followed by radiation therapy.  A lumpectomy includes the
 removal of the tumor mass and some surrounding breast tissue, while leaving
 muscles, skin and the majority of the breast intact.  Radiation therapy,
 delivered afterwards, controls microscopic cancer, lowering the rate of
 recurrence by 75 percent.  Without the option of breast conservation therapy
 (BCT), a woman must undergo a mastectomy, meaning entire breast removal.
     RCOG physician, Dr. Hamilton Williams recently presented the two studies
 summarizing RCOG's findings at the prestigious European Conference on Cancer
 Strategies and Outcomes by the British Oncological Association, in Edinburgh,
 United Kingdom.  The conference is designed to address important contemporary
 issues including targets in cancer care, differences in cancer survival
 internationally, national cancer plans, measuring the quality of cancer care
 and the role of cancer trials.
     "While clinical trials and research conducted by national organizations
 and academic institutions show equivalent results for BCT and mastectomy,"
 explains Dr. Williams, "little data exists from community cancer centers to
 document the effectiveness of breast conserving therapy outside the clinical
 trial setting."
     RCOG's first study is based on the treatment of 626 women with breast
 conservation therapy for invasive breast cancer over a 14-year period.  The
 average age of the women was 60 years.  Fifty percent of the cancers were
 detected via mammograms, and 50 percent by physical examination.
     According to study authors, Drs. David Holladay, W. Hamilton Williams,
 Asad A. Sheikh, Clinton Holladay, James B. Benton, Frederick Schnell, Philip
 Shrake, Leela Maxa and Frank Critz, all of RCOG, the local recurrence rate was
 4 percent at five years and 8 percent at ten years. The research conducted at
 RCOG documents the effectiveness of BCT outside the clinical trial and
 academic institution setting.
     The second study presented at the same European conference examined 110
 women diagnosed with ductal carcinoma-in-situ, a pre-malignant condition
 which, if left untreated, could progress to invasive cancer.  These women also
 were treated with lumpectomy and radiation therapy over a 14-year period.  The
 average age of women in this study was 59 years.
     Authors of the second study, Drs. W. Hamilton Williams, David Holladay,
 Frank Critz, Asad A. Sheikh and Clinton Holladay, indicate that the breast
 cancer recurrence rate was 2 percent at five years and 10 percent at ten
 years.
     "The low recurrence rates in these studies document that with careful
 quality control, excellent results, equivalent to national series, can be
 achieved in the community setting," states Dr. Williams.
     "Many safeguards exist in the clinical trial environment to ensure the
 quality of treatment; however, in the community, that quality control is up to
 the physician," adds Dr. Holladay.  "We believe our evaluation and reporting
 of the outcome of breast conservation in this setting is important to show
 that these techniques provide women with similar control rates as documented
 in published clinical trials.  And, we are pleased with how many women have
 been able to keep their breasts after such a serious illness."
     RCOG is the largest radiotherapy treatment group in Georgia and is the
 only Center of Excellence for Radiotherapy of Prostate Cancer in the Southeast
 having treated more than 4,000 men with prostate cancer over the past 20
 years.  The center, directed by Dr. Frank Critz, is recognized for its use of
 a special prostate cancer treatment called ProstRcision(TM), which uses a
 combined two-step radiation seed therapy to eradicate the cancer.  In addition
 to breast and prostate cancer, the center treats patients with lung, colon,
 brain and other cancers.
 
 

SOURCE Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgia
    ATLANTA, April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Physicians from the Atlanta-based
 Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgia (RCOG) presented research evaluating the
 largest series of breast cancer patients from a community cancer center in the
 United States.  Dr. David Holladay, Director of the Breast Cancer Program at
 RCOG says the results of these findings are significant because they represent
 the largest data set presented by a community-based treatment program in the
 U.S.
     RCOG's findings, resulting in two studies, evaluate the success rate for
 women treated for breast cancer using breast conservation therapy.  Breast
 conserving therapy lets a woman with cancer keep her breast by removing the
 tumor (lumpectomy) followed by radiation therapy.  A lumpectomy includes the
 removal of the tumor mass and some surrounding breast tissue, while leaving
 muscles, skin and the majority of the breast intact.  Radiation therapy,
 delivered afterwards, controls microscopic cancer, lowering the rate of
 recurrence by 75 percent.  Without the option of breast conservation therapy
 (BCT), a woman must undergo a mastectomy, meaning entire breast removal.
     RCOG physician, Dr. Hamilton Williams recently presented the two studies
 summarizing RCOG's findings at the prestigious European Conference on Cancer
 Strategies and Outcomes by the British Oncological Association, in Edinburgh,
 United Kingdom.  The conference is designed to address important contemporary
 issues including targets in cancer care, differences in cancer survival
 internationally, national cancer plans, measuring the quality of cancer care
 and the role of cancer trials.
     "While clinical trials and research conducted by national organizations
 and academic institutions show equivalent results for BCT and mastectomy,"
 explains Dr. Williams, "little data exists from community cancer centers to
 document the effectiveness of breast conserving therapy outside the clinical
 trial setting."
     RCOG's first study is based on the treatment of 626 women with breast
 conservation therapy for invasive breast cancer over a 14-year period.  The
 average age of the women was 60 years.  Fifty percent of the cancers were
 detected via mammograms, and 50 percent by physical examination.
     According to study authors, Drs. David Holladay, W. Hamilton Williams,
 Asad A. Sheikh, Clinton Holladay, James B. Benton, Frederick Schnell, Philip
 Shrake, Leela Maxa and Frank Critz, all of RCOG, the local recurrence rate was
 4 percent at five years and 8 percent at ten years. The research conducted at
 RCOG documents the effectiveness of BCT outside the clinical trial and
 academic institution setting.
     The second study presented at the same European conference examined 110
 women diagnosed with ductal carcinoma-in-situ, a pre-malignant condition
 which, if left untreated, could progress to invasive cancer.  These women also
 were treated with lumpectomy and radiation therapy over a 14-year period.  The
 average age of women in this study was 59 years.
     Authors of the second study, Drs. W. Hamilton Williams, David Holladay,
 Frank Critz, Asad A. Sheikh and Clinton Holladay, indicate that the breast
 cancer recurrence rate was 2 percent at five years and 10 percent at ten
 years.
     "The low recurrence rates in these studies document that with careful
 quality control, excellent results, equivalent to national series, can be
 achieved in the community setting," states Dr. Williams.
     "Many safeguards exist in the clinical trial environment to ensure the
 quality of treatment; however, in the community, that quality control is up to
 the physician," adds Dr. Holladay.  "We believe our evaluation and reporting
 of the outcome of breast conservation in this setting is important to show
 that these techniques provide women with similar control rates as documented
 in published clinical trials.  And, we are pleased with how many women have
 been able to keep their breasts after such a serious illness."
     RCOG is the largest radiotherapy treatment group in Georgia and is the
 only Center of Excellence for Radiotherapy of Prostate Cancer in the Southeast
 having treated more than 4,000 men with prostate cancer over the past 20
 years.  The center, directed by Dr. Frank Critz, is recognized for its use of
 a special prostate cancer treatment called ProstRcision(TM), which uses a
 combined two-step radiation seed therapy to eradicate the cancer.  In addition
 to breast and prostate cancer, the center treats patients with lung, colon,
 brain and other cancers.
 
 SOURCE  Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgia