Simultaneous Integrated Boost Radiotherapy Cuts Breast Cancer Treatment By A Week, Study Shows

In Education

A recent trial conducted by the University of Cambridge and The Institute of Cancer Research, London suggests that treatment times for radiotherapy in certain early breast cancer patients could be shortened. The study, known as the IMPORT HIGH trial, administered a targeted additional dose of radiotherapy to the whole breast (referred to as simultaneous integrated boost or SIB) and established that the approach can reduce overall treatment duration by at least one week.

SIB effective in reducing breast cancer recurrence

In the trial, it was determined that SIB radiotherapy, when administered at the appropriate dosage, is as effective as other radiotherapy methods in reducing the risk of cancer recurrence in the treated breast. After five years, the likelihood of cancer returning to the treated breast remained minimal in all treatment groups. Patients who received a low doses of SIB radiotherapy experienced the same level of side effects, such as firmness or breast hardening, compared to those who underwent the standard successive radiotherapy schedule.

Women at a higher risk of cancer recurrence in the treated breast usually receive more radiotherapy doses on the original tumor site after receiving radiotherapy for the whole breast. The approach, called sequential boost, aims to increase the likelihood of removing any remaining cancer cells from the breast. However, the sequential boost radiotherapy method requires more time and hospital appointments for women to complete. In the UK, women typically undergo four weeks of radiotherapy, while in other countries, it takes 6.5 weeks. SIB radiotherapy reduces the duration to just three weeks, providing a more efficient treatment option.

SIB effective in minimizing long-term breast cancer changes

Professor Charlotte Coles, a renowned expert in Breast Cancer Clinical Oncology at Cambridge University, said that the new approach called SIB was found to be effective in minimizing the long-term breast changes caused by radiotherapy. The study aimed to deliver high-quality radiotherapy while reducing its negative impact on patients’ well-being. Professor Coles highlighted the potential of SIB to allow for shorter radiotherapy course, incorporating advanced techniques that target specific areas, enabling women to resume their normal lives quickly.

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