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Comparing the effects of conventional and hypofractionated radiotherapies on early skin toxicity and cosmetic outcomes after breast cancer conserving surgery

Author(s): Amouzegar Hashemi F | Kalaghchi B | Sebzari AR | Haddad P | Shahabi Z

Journal: Tehran University Medical Journal
ISSN 1683-1764

Volume: 70;
Issue: 9;
Start page: 540;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: breast cancer | cosmetics | hypofractionated radiotherapy | skin toxicity

Background: The high number of breast cancer patients who receive radiation therapy after surgery has caused many to think about a shorter period of radiotherapy, which can significantly reduce the radiotherapy machine time, labor hours, and fewer patient visits. This study was designed to evaluate the acute skin effects and cosmetic outcomes of short course radiotherapy in early-stage breast cancer in comparison with the conventional treatment method.Methods: Fifty-two patients with operable breast cancer (pT1-3pN0M0) who underwent breast conservation surgery in Tehran Cancer Institute during January 2011 to January 2012, were randomly assigned to undergo radiotherapy by either receiving conventional treatment (dose: 50 Gy in 25 fractions) with subsequent electron boost or a short-course hypofractionated radiotherapy (dose: 42.5 Gy in 16 fractions) and a subsequent electron boost.Results: There were no skin changes during the first or the second week of treatment in the two groups. Cutaneous complications began after the third week as grade 1 skin toxicity after termination of the short-course radiotherapy but there were no difference in complication rate after four weeks of treatment. Six months and one year after treatment, there were no differences in terms of skin complications or cosmetic outcomes between the two groups.Conclusion: Although the use of a whole-breast irradiation with a hypofractionated schedule was associated with desirable outcomes, in term of skin toxicity and cosmetics, but longer follow-up periods with larger sample sizes are needed to confirm these results.
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