Health-related quality of life in breast cancer patients prior to and 3 years following adjuvant radiotherapy: Comparison between conventional and short-course, image-guided radiotherapy.

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Background: Breast cancer is nowadays the most common cause of cancer death in the female population. A very commonly used treatment is radiotherapy (RT). Due to improvements of medical imaging and RT, a combination can be used resulting in image guided radiotherapy (TT). The aim of the present study is to investigate the difference in health related quality of life (HRQoL) of breast cancer patients before and 3 years after post-operative conventional radiotherapy (CRT) and TT. Methods: 120 participating patients were randomly allocated to either CRT or TT. The CRT group received 50Gy/25 fractions over a 5 week period (2Gy/fraction) and an additional boost of 16Gy in 8 fractions over 2 weeks. The TT group received 42 Gy in 15 fractions over 3 weeks (2.8 Gy/fraction) and simultaneously an integrated boost of 0,6Gy/fraction. HRQoL was evaluated using the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QLQ-C30 and -BR23 (breast cancer module). Questionnaires were filled in before treatment (T0), right after finishing RT (T1) and at 3 months (T2), 1 year (T3), 2 years (T4) and 3 years (T5) follow up. Results: At T1 no statistically significant differences between the two treatment arms were found except global health status for which TT group scored worse than CRT. At T5, less severe constipation, diarrhoea, breast symptoms, upset by hair loss and more severe insomnia was found in TT compared to CRT, but the differences did not reach significance. Functional scales were comparable in treatment arms. Conclusions: Between the two treatment arms, no statistically significant differences were found at T5 but clinically meaningful differences in symptom scales favoured TT. Our study confirms the preliminary results of Versmessen et al. (BMC Cancer, 2012) in particular that a shorter more intensive fractionation schedule, using TT did not impair HRQoL in breast cancer patients. Clinical trial information:
Original languageEnglish
Article number247
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue numbers3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2016
Event2016 Cancer Survivorship Symposium - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 15 Jan 201616 Jan 2016

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