Vol 25, No 2 (2020)
Research paper
Published online: 2020-03-01

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Cardiotoxicity of breast cancer radiotherapy – overview of current results

R. Soumarová, L. Rušinová1
DOI: 10.1016/j.rpor.2019.12.008
Rep Pract Oncol Radiother 2020;25(2):182-186.


Adjuvant radiotherapy after breast cancer surgery is an important part of breast cancer treatment improving local control and overall survival. However, a higher risk of cardiac mortality was observed when conventional radiotherapy techniques were used. Cardiac morbidity and mortality after radiation therapy have been studied in many meta-analyses. In those focused on modern radiotherapy techniques, cardiac morbidity and mortality were no longer presented. However, an extremely long follow-up period is required. Importantly, the cardiac morbidity rates vary depending not only on the dose delivered to the heart, but also on the systemic therapies administrated and the pre-existing cardiac disease. Systematic heart dose monitoring is of great importance, as are efforts to constantly decrease doses, using advanced radiotherapy techniques. Nowadays, it is essential to individualize treatment according to tumor characteristics and anatomical predispositions, and to consider the cost and benefits.

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Reports of Practical Oncology and Radiotherapy