‘A more specific treatment protocol is needed for breast cancer in mammary glands’

‘A more specific treatment protocol is needed for breast cancer in mammary glands’

There is a more specific treatment protocol is necessary for patients with breast cancers arise from the mammary glands. That allows surgeon-oncologist Wilfred Truin after doctoral research at the Máxima Medical Centre, Maastricht UMC+ and the comprehensive Cancer centre the Netherlands.

Truin compared the treatment of two types of breast cancer with each other. There, he concluded that equal protocols are differences in the treatment result.

Most tumours arise in the so-called melkgangen, which converge at the nipple. About 15 percent of the cases concerns a tumor that develops in the mammary glands, also known as the lobular type called.


From an analysis of Truin, where he was medical data from 150,000 patients examined, showed that the lobular type significantly more often opted for a mastectomy. In this form of breast cancer, it is more difficult to determine how big the tumor is, so a breast saving surgery a bigger risk is the loss of tumor tissue.

In many cases a pre-treatment with chemotherapy applied to the tumor to shrink, making a breast saving surgery easier to perform. The research showed, however, that women with a lobular type tumor less well on the chemotherapy response.

“That can be a reason for the surgeons to go for a mastectomy’, says Truin. Also after a surgery seems chemotherapy does not add value to the life expectancy to improve. That concludes, after a study in post-menopausal women in addition to hormone therapy and also chemotherapy were given. In the more common ductal type of breast cancer shows adding chemotherapy to hormone therapy have an effect.


So there are differences in the treatment of breast tumors arise in the melkgangen or in the mammary glands, despite the same treatment protocol. According to Truin, there is still research is necessary before the guidelines are applied.

“We are aiming for a more specific treatment protocol, to maximize the effectiveness of therapy. For example, overtreatment to prevent it is necessary to clearly map out what the sensitivity of the tumor to chemotherapy. It is therefore of utmost importance that we first need to determine which treatments have or have not added value.”

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