In a groundbreaking study, researchers led by Vanessa Di Lalla at McGill University have conducted a comprehensive review of Radiation-Induced Sarcomas (RISs) of the breast, offering valuable insights into a rare yet critical aspect of cancer treatment.
The findings, spanning a 20-year period, shed light on the incidence, risk factors, management, and outcomes of RISs, contributing significantly to the understanding of these complex malignancies.
Radiation-induced sarcomas (RISs) are a rare but serious consequence of radiotherapy, representing histologically proven sarcomas within or around previously irradiated sites. The study, conducted at McGill University Health Centre, focused on 19 patients meeting Cahan’s criteria for RISs between 2000 and 2020. The median age at RIS diagnosis was 72 years, with a median latency period of 112 months. All patients underwent surgery, and some received additional systemic therapy or reirradiation as salvage treatment.
At a median follow-up of 31 months, the study revealed that despite aggressive treatment, a significant proportion of patients experienced local recurrence, emphasizing the challenges in managing RISs. However, the overall survival outcomes at two years were encouraging, with a disease-specific survival of 88.9%.
The research underscores the need for specialized, multidisciplinary management of breast RISs, particularly in high-volume centers where expertise is readily available. While the study provides valuable insights, the researchers advocate for further investigations, emphasizing the rarity of RISs and the difficulty in drawing definitive conclusions on risk factors.