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Radiotherapy between or during chemotherapy cycles reduces risk of breast cancer recurrence
Date:9/24/2011

diotherapy treatment was significantly less in patients being treated with three weeks of synchronous radiotherapy (40Gy radiation in 15 fractions) compared to those with schedules of a longer duration (45Gy in 20 fractions over four weeks or 50Gy in 25 fractions over five weeks). Importantly, the clinical benefit of synchronous chemoradiation treatment was seen in both patient groups."

Dr Fernando says that the trial could be important for economic reasons. "Shortening the overall treatment time may mean that when patients have finished their last chemotherapy course they can return to their normal life without having to then complete their radiotherapy. This may also have economic benefits in terms of when patients can return to work."

"Clinical practice needs to be reviewed for patients who are being treated with a CMF or an anthracycline/CMF chemotherapy schedule. The data will be forwarded to the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the UK but the results have implications worldwide," adds Dr Fernando.

Professor Michael Baumann, president of ECCO said: "This trial raises the important issue of how radiotherapy and chemotherapy after surgery should be sequenced or integrated to obtain the best outcome in breast cancer. In today's modern multidisciplinary oncology, not only each single component of treatment needs to be optimised, but also the combination thereof. This requires close interaction of specialists from different specialties in clinical research, as well as in everyday patient care. The SECRAB trial suggests that the risk of loco-regional recurrences could be reduced by applying radiotherapy simultaneously with chemotherapy. Long term follow-up will still be necessary to assess potential late side-effects and the benefits versus the risks of this approach, but I am convinced that this trial will spur a lot of discussion on optimising adjuvant treatment in this common disease."


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Contact: Kay Roche
kayroche@gmail.com
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation
Source:Eurekalert

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