open access

Vol 17, No 2 (2012)
Review
Published online: 2012-03-01
Submitted: 2011-07-05
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Hypofractionated radiotherapy for early breast cancer: Review of phase III studies

Agata Kacprowska, Jacek Jassem
DOI: 10.1016/j.rpor.2011.10.003
·
Rep Pract Oncol Radiother 2012;17(2):66-70.

open access

Vol 17, No 2 (2012)
Review
Published online: 2012-03-01
Submitted: 2011-07-05

Abstract

Breast-conserving surgery including whole breast irradiation has long been a recommended procedure for early breast cancer. However, conventionally fractionated radiotherapy requires a lengthy hospitalisation or prolonged commuting to a hospital for radiotherapy. In recent years, hypofractionated radiotherapy has increasingly been used. This method involves higher fraction doses (above 2[[ce:hsp sp="0.25"/]]Gy) as compared to conventional radiotherapy, so the total dose can be delivered in fewer fractions and in a shorter overall treatment time. This review aims at presenting most important outcomes of four randomised studies comparing conventional and hypofractionated radiotherapy schemes including a total of 7000 patients. These studies have not shown apparent differences in treatment efficacy, incidence of late post-radiotherapy complications or cosmetic effects during a 5–10 year follow-up, but longer observation is warranted to fully evaluate the safety of this method. Currently, major societies consider modestly hypofractionated radiotherapy schemes as a routine management in selected groups of patients undergoing breast-conserving surgery. However, this method should be used cautiously in patients with lymph node metastases, big breasts, receiving chemotherapy or trastuzumab, or those under 50 years of age.

Abstract

Breast-conserving surgery including whole breast irradiation has long been a recommended procedure for early breast cancer. However, conventionally fractionated radiotherapy requires a lengthy hospitalisation or prolonged commuting to a hospital for radiotherapy. In recent years, hypofractionated radiotherapy has increasingly been used. This method involves higher fraction doses (above 2[[ce:hsp sp="0.25"/]]Gy) as compared to conventional radiotherapy, so the total dose can be delivered in fewer fractions and in a shorter overall treatment time. This review aims at presenting most important outcomes of four randomised studies comparing conventional and hypofractionated radiotherapy schemes including a total of 7000 patients. These studies have not shown apparent differences in treatment efficacy, incidence of late post-radiotherapy complications or cosmetic effects during a 5–10 year follow-up, but longer observation is warranted to fully evaluate the safety of this method. Currently, major societies consider modestly hypofractionated radiotherapy schemes as a routine management in selected groups of patients undergoing breast-conserving surgery. However, this method should be used cautiously in patients with lymph node metastases, big breasts, receiving chemotherapy or trastuzumab, or those under 50 years of age.

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Keywords

Breast cancer; Adjuvant radiotherapy; Hypofractionated radiotherapy

About this article
Title

Hypofractionated radiotherapy for early breast cancer: Review of phase III studies

Journal

Reports of Practical Oncology and Radiotherapy

Issue

Vol 17, No 2 (2012)

Pages

66-70

Published online

2012-03-01

DOI

10.1016/j.rpor.2011.10.003

Bibliographic record

Rep Pract Oncol Radiother 2012;17(2):66-70.

Keywords

Breast cancer
Adjuvant radiotherapy
Hypofractionated radiotherapy

Authors

Agata Kacprowska
Jacek Jassem

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