News: Radiopaque clips improve breast Ca outcomes

April 15, 2008

Placing radiopaque clips in the primary tumor bed in women with breast ca helps to localize the prime tumor site.

Placing radiopaque clips in the primary tumor bed in women with breast cancer who are receiving doxorubicin-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy helps to localize the prime tumor site during subsequent breast-conserving surgery, thus providing better local control regardless of cancer stage or other clinicopathologic findings, according to the results of a retrospective study from Texas.

The authors of the study reviewed the records of 410 women with nonmetastatic breast cancer being treated with doxorubicin-based chemotherapy and breast-conserving therapy between January of 1990 and September of 2005. After a median follow-up of about 4 years, 21 women developed a recurrence in the treated breast. The 5-year rate of local control was 98.6% in the women who received the clips versus 91.7% in the women who did not (P=.02). Those women without the clips were about three-and-a-half times more likely to develop a local recurrence than the women who had the clips placed, leading the authors to conclude that placement of the markers should become a standard part of treatment in appropriate patients.

Oh JL, Nguyen G, Whitman GJ, et al. Placement of radiopaque clips for tumor localization in patients undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy and breast conservation therapy. Cancer. 2007:110:2420-2427.