The Who, What, Where, When and Sometimes, Why.

Emerging Areas in Radiation Therapy

New techniques and new ways to use radiation therapy are under study in clinical trials. The results of these trials will decide whether they become part of standard care.

Learn about emerging areas in radiation therapy for ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).

Repeat radiation therapy for breast cancer recurrence

Mastectomy is typically the standard treatment for breast cancer recurrence in women who were treated with lumpectomy and radiation therapy for early breast cancer [7]. In general, radiation therapy to the breast can only be given once. So, lumpectomy plus radiation therapy is not usually used to treat a recurrence in the same breast.

Recent data suggest some women with a breast cancer recurrence may be safely treated with repeat radiation therapy given only to the area of the recurrence [23]. Women who were treated with radiation therapy for breast cancer many years ago, and who have small cancers that haven’t spread to the lymph nodes may be the best candidates for this treatment [23].

Proton radiation therapy

Proton radiation therapy delivers a precise dose of radiation therapy, targeting a tumor with potentially less impact on normal tissue. It’s used to treat some cancers that require a high level of precision to ensure nearby tissues are not harmed, such as brain tumors in children.

Proton radiation therapy is under study for use in treating breast cancer.

Clinical trials

After talking with your health care provider, we encourage you to consider joining a clinical trial.

Susan G. Komen® Breast Care Helpline

If you or a loved one needs information or resources about clinical trials, call the Komen Breast Care Helpline at 1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877- 465- 6636) or email

Se habla español. in collaboration with Susan G. Komen® offers a custom matching service to help find clinical trials that fit your health needs.

Learn more about clinical trials.

Our commitment to research

At Susan G. Komen®, we are committed to saving lives by meeting the most critical needs in our communities and investing in breakthrough research to prevent and cure breast cancer. Our Research Program is an essential driving force for achieving this mission.

Since our inception in 1982, Komen has provided funding to support research grants that have greatly expanded our knowledge of breast cancer and helped us understand that breast cancer is not just a single disease but many diseases, unique to each individual.

To date, Komen has provided nearly $1.1 billion to researchers in 47 states, the District of Columbia and 24 countries to support research that has resulted in a better understanding of breast cancer; earlier detection; personalized, less invasive treatments for what was once a “one-treatment-fits-all” disease; and improvements in both quality of life and survival rates.

Learn more about our continuing investment in research and the exciting research that we are funding, because nothing would make us happier than ending breast cancer forever.

 Updated 05/19/21


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