open access

Vol 4, No 4 (2008)
Review paper
Published online: 2008-10-08
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Combining chemotherapy with radiation in breast cancer

Krzysztof Adamowicz, Małgorzata Marczewska, Jacek Jassem
Onkol. Prak. Klin 2008;4(4):127-134.

open access

Vol 4, No 4 (2008)
REVIEW ARTICLES
Published online: 2008-10-08

Abstract

Breast cancer is one of the most important global health problems. Over the last years introduction of mammography screening and increased efficacy of adjuvant therapies resulted in the reduction of mortality in this malignancy. A proportion of patients with breast cancer has indications for adjuvant radiotherapy and chemotherapy, however optimal schedules of combining these two modalities remain controversial. In clinical practice typically chemotherapy and radiotherapy are used sequentially, but this strategy is not supported by the results of large clinical trials. There is theoretical rationale for the concomitant use of both modalities, but increased cardiotoxicity and skin reactions of anthracycline-based regimens do not allow for this strategy. Further investigations are essential to determine the safety of taxane-based schedules combined with radiotherapy, particularly with regard to pneumotoxicity. Concurrent chemo-radiotherapy with the use of selected schemes may be considered in patients with locally advanced cancer, but this strategy still should be verified in large randomized studies.

Abstract

Breast cancer is one of the most important global health problems. Over the last years introduction of mammography screening and increased efficacy of adjuvant therapies resulted in the reduction of mortality in this malignancy. A proportion of patients with breast cancer has indications for adjuvant radiotherapy and chemotherapy, however optimal schedules of combining these two modalities remain controversial. In clinical practice typically chemotherapy and radiotherapy are used sequentially, but this strategy is not supported by the results of large clinical trials. There is theoretical rationale for the concomitant use of both modalities, but increased cardiotoxicity and skin reactions of anthracycline-based regimens do not allow for this strategy. Further investigations are essential to determine the safety of taxane-based schedules combined with radiotherapy, particularly with regard to pneumotoxicity. Concurrent chemo-radiotherapy with the use of selected schemes may be considered in patients with locally advanced cancer, but this strategy still should be verified in large randomized studies.
Get Citation

Keywords

breast cancer; adjuvant therapy; chemotherapy; radiotherapy

About this article
Title

Combining chemotherapy with radiation in breast cancer

Journal

Oncology in Clinical Practice

Issue

Vol 4, No 4 (2008)

Article type

Review paper

Pages

127-134

Published online

2008-10-08

Bibliographic record

Onkol. Prak. Klin 2008;4(4):127-134.

Keywords

breast cancer
adjuvant therapy
chemotherapy
radiotherapy

Authors

Krzysztof Adamowicz
Małgorzata Marczewska
Jacek Jassem

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