Breast conserving treatment and other developments in the NKI

Mamma applicatie Lokkerbol kl.jpg 

From 1952, the treatment of breast cancer consists of a limited surgical procedure combined with postoperative irradiation.  During the period 1952 to 1959, various publications on this appear and lectures are given. Photo Lokkerbol family archive.

Breast cancer In 1952 the annual report of the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) states that Dr. Willem Wassink completed a large study on the combined therapy of cancer of the mammary gland (breast cancer) [42].   The treatment is a combination of  surgery and adjuvant radiotherapy. The surgery is "limited", a bigger operation only has a good outcome in very rare cases. Treatment with isotopes was only used in a few exceptional cases. A provisional announcement was made on the Leeuwenhoek Day in 1951, and in more definitive form under the title: "Chances of long term cure of carcinoma mammae, treated with surgery and adjuvant radiotherapy" for the Dutch Surgical Society on 6 April 1952. It was expected that this study would give rise to changes in methodology, mainly of the radiotherapy. The development of a breast-sparing treatment is not without risks. Some years later, the staff of the NKI publishes a report on the treatment of bone metastases which are a result of advanced breast cancer. 

Head and Neck cancer:For oto-rhino-laryngology (cancer of the ear, nose and throat), the treatment programme is from now on set up by the organ specialist along with radiologist Lokkerbol. For the first time, there is now multidisciplinary teamwork. 

Radiation planning: A design is made of a device to gain insight into the spatial dose distribution resulting from 3 or more intersecting X-ray beams.

Follow Up: The follow-up department gets a clear position in the organization. The card system for the careful annual follow up is put into use. 

Radiotherapy department building: Financial support from the Queen Wilhelmina Fund (KWF, the Dutch Cancer Society) makes it is possible to build a modern department for radiotherapy on the Sarphatistraat, to be designed by architect H. Blomhert. In the new department each treatment unit will be placed in a separate shielded room. The new X-ray equipment is designed for rotational and other dynamic forms of treatment. In addition a megavoltage shelter for a future cobalt unit is planned. The new department will open in the summer of 1953. 

Bronnen & Publicaties

  • [42] W. F. WASSINK, Carcinoma of the breast; results of surgical treatment followed by postoperative X-ray treatment (1931 ...... 1945). Archivum Chir. NeerL. 6 (1954) no. 3 pp. 177--221 ,