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Potential Reduction of Contralateral Second Breast-Cancer Risks by Prophylactic Mammary Irradiation: Validation in a Breast-Cancer-Prone Mouse Model

Shuryak, Igor; Kleiman, Norman J.; Smilenov, Lubomir B.; Brenner, David Jonathan

Background:

Long-term breast-cancer survivors have a highly elevated risk (1 in 6 at 20 years) of contralateral second breast cancer. This high risk is associated with the presence of multiple pre-malignant cell clones in the contralateral breast at the time of primary breast cancer diagnosis. Mechanistic analyses suggest that a moderate dose of X-rays to the contralateral breast can kill these pre-malignant clones such that, at an appropriate Prophylactic Mammary Irradiation (PMI) dose, the long-term contralateral breast cancer risk in breast cancer survivors would be considerably decreased.

Aims

To test the predicted relationship between PMI dose and cancer risk in mammary glands that have a high risk of developing malignancies.

Methods:

We tested the PMI concept using MMTV-PyVT mammary-tumor-prone mice. Mammary glands on one side of each mouse were irradiated with X-rays, while those on the other side were shielded from radiation. The unshielded mammary glands received doses of 0, 4, 8, 12 and 16Gy in 4-Gy fractions.

Results:

In high-risk mammary glands exposed to radiation doses designed for PMI (12 and 16 Gy), tumor incidence rates were respectively decreased by a factor of 2.2 (95% CI, 1.1-5.0) at 12 Gy, and a factor of 3.1 (95% CI, 1.3-8.3) at 16 Gy, compared to those in the shielded glands that were exposed to very low radiation doses. The same pattern was seen for PMI-exposed mammary glands relative to zero-dose controls.

Conclusions:

The pattern of cancer risk reduction by PMI was consistent with mechanistic predictions. Contralateral breast PMI may thus have promise as a spatially targeted breast-conserving option for reducing the current high risk of contralateral second breast cancers. For estrogen-receptor positive primary tumors, PMI might optimally be used concomitantly with systemically delivered chemopreventive drugs such as tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors, while for estrogen-receptor negative tumors, PMI might be used alone.

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Academic Units
Center for Radiological Research
Published Here
November 17, 2016