Clear margins in breast cancer increase survival

Clear margins in breast cancer increase survival

Where clear margins have been obtained in breast cancer surgery and the tumour is fully removed, the immune system turns its attention to ridding the body of circulating cancer cells and those in lymph nodes and other organs, according to research from the Georgia Cancer Center, Augusta University.

In fact, where clear margins are not obtained and a little of the tumour remains, somehow the immune system starts to support the tumour which then grows back even faster according to Dr. Hasan Korkaya, a tumour biologist involved in the study.

Where the tumour was removed completely, the immune response turns its full attention to cells in other organs like the lungs and the researchers were convinced the cells were wiped out and did not merely become dormant.

Korkaya was concerned that there had been past inconsistencies over results and so took mice and gave them either aggressive breast cancer (for example TNBC), or slower growing breast cancer. In both cases the cancer cells spread around the body in just a few weeks, but in the case of aggressive cancers , ncancer cells in distant locations were more likely.

With the more moderate cancers, complete removal of the primary tumour allowed the immune T-cells to attack and neutralize all of the cancer cells that had spread. These had not merely become dormant as, by removing the immune T-cells, the cancers then grew again. In fact, when the mice were injected with 100,000 new cancer cells, these were neutralized by the immune system too.

Go to: Breast Cancer Overview – causes, symptoms and alternative treatments


2019 Research
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