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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 11

of 'Radiation therapy techniques for newly diagnosed, non-metastatic breast cancer'

Long-term results of hypofractionated radiation therapy for breast cancer.
Whelan TJ, Pignol JP, Levine MN, Julian JA, MacKenzie R, Parpia S, Shelley W, Grimard L, Bowen J, Lukka H, Perera F, Fyles A, Schneider K, Gulavita S, Freeman C
N Engl J Med. 2010;362(6):513.
BACKGROUND: The optimal fractionation schedule for whole-breast irradiation after breast-conserving surgery is unknown.
METHODS: We conducted a study to determine whether a hypofractionated 3-week schedule of whole-breast irradiation is as effective as a 5-week schedule. Women with invasive breast cancer who had undergone breast-conserving surgery and in whom resection margins were clear and axillary lymph nodes were negative were randomly assigned to receive whole-breast irradiation either at a standard dose of 50.0 Gy in 25 fractions over a period of 35 days (the control group) or at a dose of 42.5 Gy in 16 fractions over a period of 22 days (the hypofractionated-radiation group).
RESULTS: The risk of local recurrence at 10 years was 6.7% among the 612 women assigned to standard irradiation as compared with 6.2% among the 622 women assigned to the hypofractionated regimen (absolute difference, 0.5 percentage points; 95% confidence interval [CI], -2.5 to 3.5). At 10 years, 71.3% of women in the control group as compared with 69.8% of the women in the hypofractionated-radiation group had a good or excellent cosmetic outcome (absolute difference, 1.5 percentage points; 95% CI, -6.9 to 9.8).
CONCLUSIONS: Ten years after treatment, accelerated, hypofractionated whole-breast irradiation was not inferior to standard radiation treatment in women who had undergone breast-conserving surgery for invasive breast cancer with clear surgical margins and negative axillary nodes. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00156052.)
McMaster University and Juravinski Cancer Centre, Hamilton, ON, Canada. tim.whelan@jcc.hhsc.ca