The 2016 Assisi Think Tank Meeting on breast cancer: white paper

Cynthia Aristei, Orit Kaidar-Person, Meritxell Arenas, Charlotte Coles, Birgitte V. Offersen, Celine Bourgier, Giovanni Frezza, Maria Cristina Leonardi, Vincenzo Valentini, Philip M P Poortmans

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose: To identify weak points in daily routine use of radiation therapy (RT) for non-metastatic breast cancer patients, particularly when data are lacking or equivocal, a “think tank” of experts met in Assisi. Methods: Before the meeting, controversial issues on non-metastatic breast cancer were identified and reviewed, and clinical practice investigated by means of an online questionnaire. During the 3-day meeting, topics were discussed in-depth with attendees and potential sponsors that are involved in breast cancer treatment. Results: Three issues were identified as needing further investigation: (1) Regional lymph node treatment in early-stage breast cancer; (2) Combined post-mastectomy RT and breast reconstruction; (3) RT in patients treated with primary systemic therapy. Future research proposals included the following: (1) Participating in appropriately selected on-going clinical trials; (2) Designing new randomized controlled clinical trials and prospective population cohort studies; (3) Setting-up large database(s) to generate predictive response models and detect biomarkers for tailored loco-regional treatments. Conclusions: It is hoped that the ATTM findings, as described in the present white paper, will stimulate a new generation of radiation oncologists to focus on research in these areas, and that the white paper will become a tool for multidisciplinary groups to help them design research proposals and strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-221
Number of pages11
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Breast cancer
  • Breast reconstruction
  • Post-mastectomy radiation therapy
  • Primary systemic therapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Regional lymph node treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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