Quadrantectomy versus lumpectomy for small size breast cancer

Umberto Veronesi, Fabio Volterrani, Alberto Luini, Roberto Saccozzi, Marcella Del Vecchio, Roberto Zucali, Viviana Galimberti, Alessandro Rasponi, Emanuela Di Re, Paolo Squicciarini, Bruno Salvadori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Between 1985 and 1987 quadrantectomy plus external radiotherapy and lumpectomy plus external and interstitial radiotherapy were compared in a randomized trial of patients with small carcinomas of the breast. Quadrantectomy involves excision of 2-3 cm of normal tissue around the tumour plus the removal of a sufficiently large portion of overlying skin and underlying fascia whilst lumpectomy removes only the tumour mass with a narrow margin of normal tissue. Patients in both groups also received total axillary dissection. 705 cases were evaluable, 360 quadrantectomies and 345 lumpectomies. No differences in distant metastases and survival were observed in the two groups. However, lumpectomy patients had a much higher frequency of local recurrences (7.0 vs. 2.2%). Since a local recurrence needs a second operation and creates severe psychological distress to the patient, conservative surgical procedures should include generous excision of normal tissue around the primary carcinoma plus intensive postoperative radiotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)671-673
Number of pages3
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer and Clinical Oncology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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