Late effects and cosmetic results of conventional versus hypofractionated irradiation in breast-conserving therapy

Department of Radiation Oncology, University Medical Clinic Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistrasse 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany.
Strahlentherapie und Onkologie (Impact Factor: 2.73). 10/2005; 181(10):625-31. DOI: 10.1007/s00066-005-1404-9
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Breast irradiation after lumpectomy is an integral component of breast-conserving therapy (BCT). As the prognosis is general good following BCT, late morbidity and cosmesis are important. The present study compares two different radiation schedules with respect to these two endpoints.
129 breast cancer patients (pT1-2 pN0-1 cM0) were irradiated between 09/1992 and 08/1994 with either a 22-day fractionation schedule (2.5 Gy to 55 Gy, 4x/week, n = 65) or with a conventional fractionation schedule (28 days, 2.0 Gy to 55 Gy, 5x/week, n = 64), both without additional boost. The equivalent dose of 2-Gy fractions (EQD2) was 55 Gy and 62 Gy, respectively. Late toxicity, assessed according to the LENT-SOMA criteria, and cosmetic outcome, graded on a 5-point scale, were evaluated after a median of 86 months (range 72-94 months) in tumor-free breast cancer patients.
LENT-SOMA grade 2/3 toxicity (2.5 Gy vs. 2.0 Gy): breast pain (18% vs. 11%; p = 0.3), fibrosis (57% vs. 16%; p < 0.001), telangiectasia (22% vs. 3%; p = 0.002), atrophy (31% vs. 3%; p < 0.001). Medication to breast pain was taken by 8% versus 9% of patients. Cosmesis was very good/good/acceptable in 75% versus 93% (2.5 Gy vs. 2.0 Gy; p = 0.006).
Late morbidity was significantly frequent and cosmesis was significantly worse after hypofractionated radiotherapy (2.5 Gy to 55 Gy). However, morbidity was not associated with major implications on daily life.

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