This retrospective study involved 463 breast cancer patients treated by radiotherapy alone at the Princess Margaret Hospital and at the Institut Gustave-Roussy. These patients either had operable tumors, but were unfit for general anesthesia, or had inoperable tumors due to local contraindications to surgery. Results were analyzed according to tumor response, local recurrence rate, tumor size, tumor fixation, nodal fixation and tumor dose. Conventional statistical analysis of local control showed two significant factors: tumor dose and tumor size. Multivariate analysis permitted to define an "individual risk" (IR) of local recurrence according to three independent factors: tumor size, tumor fixation, and nodal fixation. It was shown that the IR was a good prognostic factor for local control. Increase in tumor dose gave a similar effect in the local recurrence relative risk for all the IR groups. According to the slope of the dose-effect curve, it was deduced that a dose increase of 15 Gy can decrease the relative risk of local recurrence 2-fold. In fact, it was shown that tumor dose was the most significant independent factor on local control, able to produce up to a 10-fold increase compared to 2-fold decrease for tumor size. If the IR of local recurrence is known, a theoretical predictive value on local control, taking into account the tumor dose, can be determined according to the present data.