- The first population (group 1, n = 109 patients) was made up of women affected by early-stage breast cancer with extensive nodal involvement that required postmastectomy radiotherapy and adjuvant chemotherapy. This group received radiation on permanent implants (radiotherapy plus permanent implants).
- The second population (group 2, n = 50 patients) was made up of patients with locally advanced breast cancer who preoperatively were candidates for radiotherapy and who received chemotherapy before surgery. This group received radiation during the expansion phase of STE (radiotherapy plus tissue expanders).
- A third population (n = 98 patients) who did not receive radiotherapy was included as a control group.
Highlights of the study:
The study authors conclusions:
This study demonstrated that a higher total failure rate affects breast reconstructions that undergo irradiation during tissue expansion. For this reason, we suggest that if tissue expansion can be performed during postoperative chemotherapy, chest wall irradiation should be delivered on permanent implants. The second surgical step can be scheduled 3 weeks after the end of chemotherapy, and the irradiation should not begin more than 3 weeks later. Patients whose need for radiotherapy is not known preoperatively can, in this way, improve their surgical outcome.