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Differences in Breast Radiotherapy

What are the acute toxic effects?

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.