New Treatment For Breast Cancer Patients Cuts Radiotherapy Time In Half
Several breast cancer patients could be treated in half the time after research shows that accelerated whole breast irradiation after lumpectomy is an effective treatment for ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).
The study is published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology-Biology-Physics.
DCIS is one of the most common forms of early stage and non-invasive forms of breast cancer. At present lumpectomy is followed by 5-6 weeks of whole breast radiation, and numerous studies have shown that this treatment reduces the risk of recurrence in both noninvasive and invasive breast cancers and for DCIS significantly.
Although accelerated radiation has been shown to be effective for invasive cancers, its effect on DCIS has not been established.
As a result, the team examined 145 patients with DCIS. Patients were either treated with lumpectomy in addition to accelerated whole breast irradiation or lumpectomy with accelerated whole breast irradiation - plus an additional daily boost.
The team found that only 4.1% of participants experienced a recurrence five years after treatment. This figure is similar to the 5-10% recurrence rate shown in studies for patients receiving standard radiation.
Senior author of the study Silvia Formenti, M.D., a radiation oncologist at New York University School of Medicine, explained:
"The results of our study suggest that DCIS patients can be safely treated with a shorter regimen of radiotherapy.
This is good news for many breast cancer patients who would prefer to receive their treatments in a shorter period of time, but also want the peace of mind that they are receiving the most effective treatment available."