Breast Cancer Coverage From Every Angle

ASTRO 2017: Accelerated Breast Radiation Therapy After Mastectomy

By: Susan Reckling
Posted: Friday, September 29, 2017

For women with intermediate-stage, high-risk breast cancer, shortening radiation therapy after mastectomy from 5 weeks to 3 weeks does not seem to compromise tumor control rates in the breast and surrounding region compared with conventional treatment. The 5-year results of this randomized phase III trial of hypofractionated radiation therapy were presented at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) in San Diego (Abstract 5).

“This trial demonstrates that we can safely accelerate adjuvant radiation therapy and reduce treatment time by two weeks,” commented Shulian Wang, MD, one of the study’s lead authors and a radiation oncology at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing, in an ASTRO press release. “This option makes treatment more convenient for patients, reduces medical expenses, and allows providers to treat more patients with limited resources.”

A total of 820 high-risk patients mainly with stage III breast cancer were enrolled in the trial. The investigators reported no significant differences in 5-year locoregional recurrence, distant metastasis, disease-free survival and overall survival between those who received hypofractionated radiation therapy and those who received conventional fractionated radiation therapy.

As for toxicity, fewer patients in the accelerated treatment group reported grade 3 acute skin toxicity. The incidence of symptomatic radiation pneumonitis, lymphedema, and shoulder disorder was similar in the two treatment groups.

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