ASTRO imparts clinical guidelines for usage of whole breast radiation therapy for breast cancer

The American Society for Radiation Oncology declared a new clinical guideline for the usage of whole breast radiation therapy for breast Cancer augmenting the population of patients recommended to receive accelerated treatment known as hypofractionated therapy.

It is witnessed that Breast Cancer is the most common malignancy treated with radiation therapy in the United States and whole breast irradiation (WBI) is the most common used type of radiation delivered for these tumors.

With hypofractionated WBI, patients receive larger doses of radiation across fewer treatment sessions—typically completing treatment in three to four weeks, compared with five to seven weeks for conventional treatment. Clinical Trials reveal that new guideline regardless of age, tumor stage suggests that it replaces the ccurrent ASTRO WBI guideline published in 2011.

Benjamin Smith, MD, co-chair of the guideline task force and an associate professor of radiation oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston said “Previously, accelerated treatment was recommended only for certain patients, including older patients and those with less advanced disease, but recent long-term results from several large trials strongly support the safety and efficacy of accelerated treatment for most breast cancer patients.”

Recent data suggests that large numbers of eligible breast cancer patients are not receiving shorter courses of radiation therapy. A 2013 JAMA study found an adoption rate of approximately 30 percent, and a 2017 analysis for Kaiser Health News indicated that fewer than half of patients over age 50 with early-stage disease receive the accelerated treatment.

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