When compared to conventional fractionation (CF), hypofractionation (HF) improves convenience and also may reduce acute pain, fatigue, and the extent to which breast cancer patients undergoing whole-breast radiotherapy are bothered by dermatitis, according to an evaluation of 2,309 patients; 578 of whom received HF. In further comparing HF to CF, researchers found:
• Patients receiving CF had significantly higher maximum physician-assessed skin reaction (62.6% vs. 27.4% for dermatitis); self-reported pain (41.1% vs. 24.2%); and fatigue (29.7% vs. 18.9%).
• Patients receiving CF in follow-up had slightly greater absence of skin induration.
• No significant differences were observed in any other measured outcomes.
Citation: Jagsi R, Griffith KA, Boike TP, et al. Differences in the acute toxic effects of breast radiotherapy by fractionation schedule. JAMA Oncol. [Published online ahead of print August 6, 2015]. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.2590.