On the agenda: Study backs use of radiotherapy

A Europe-wide study has suggested that more breast cancer sufferers could be treated with radiotherapy rather than more invasive surgery.

On the agenda: Radiotherapy study
On the agenda: Radiotherapy study

In more detail 

Launched in 2007, the trial, AMAROS (After Mapping of the Axilla: Radiotherapy or Surgery), was funded by the European Organisation for the Research and Treatment of Cancer. The UK work was led by professor Robert Mansel, of the University Hospital Llandough, and professor of surgery at Cardiff University School of Medicine.

The trial traced the women from having early-stage, invasive breast tumours over six years and focused on whether radiotherapy could be as effective as surgery in removing lymph nodes. It showed there was no significant difference in the five-year survival rate of the two treatments.

The study also showed that of those who had radiotherapy, 14 per cent experienced lymphoedema – a swelling resulting from treatment – after five years, compared with 28 per cent who had surgery. 

PR strategy

UK comms were led by the Cardiff & Vale University Health Board. It sent an embargoed press release to selected media, giving them the opportunity to interview Mansel and Alison Essaye (both pictured), who took part in the trial. Social media were used to spread the study’s findings.

Media coverage 

The study was covered in the Western Mail and South Wales Echo, and extensively across the BBC, including Radio Wales and Wales Today, as well as online. 

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