TomoBreast is a unicenter, non-blinded randomized trial comparing conventional radiotherapy (CR) vs. hypofractionated Tomotherapy (TT) for post-operative treatment of breast cancer. The purpose of the trial is to compare whether TT can reduce heart and pulmonary toxicity. We evaluate early toxicities.
The trial started inclusion in May 2007 and reached its recruitment in August 2011. Women with stage T1-3N0M0 or T1-2N1M0 breast cancer completely resected by tumorectomy (BCS) or by mastectomy (MA) who consented to participate were randomized, according to a prescribed computer-generated randomization schedule, between control arm of CR 25x2 Gy/5 weeks by tangential fields on breast/chest wall, plus supraclavicular-axillary field if node-positive, and sequential boost 8x2 Gy/2 weeks if BCS (cumulative dose 66 Gy/7 weeks), versus experimental TT arm of 15x2.8 Gy/3 weeks, including nodal areas if node-positive and simultaneous integrated boost of 0.6 Gy if BCS (cumulative dose 51 Gy/3 weeks). Outcomes evaluated were the pulmonary and heart function. Comparison of proportions used one-sided Fisher's exact test.
By May 2010, 70 patients were randomized and had more than 1 year of follow-up. Out of 69 evaluable cases, 32 were assigned to CR (21 BCS, 11 MA), 37 to TT (20 BCS, 17 MA). Skin toxicity of grade ≥1 at 2 years was 60% in CR, vs. 30% in TT arm. Heart function showed no significant difference for left ventricular ejection fraction at 2 years, CR 4.8% vs. TT 4.6%. Pulmonary function tests at 2 years showed grade ≥1 decline of FEV1 in 21% of CR, vs. 15% of TT and decline of DLco in 29% of CR, vs. 7% of TT (P = 0.05).
There were no unexpected severe toxicities. Short course radiotherapy of the breast with simultaneous integrated boost over 3 weeks proved feasible without excess toxicities. Pulmonary tests showed a slight trend in favor of Tomotherapy, which will need confirmation with longer follow-up of patients.
Early breast cancer; Hypofractionation; Simultaneous integrated boost (SIB); Image guided radiation treatment (IGRT); Intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT)
While evidence on safety and efficacy of primary hypofractionated radiotherapy in prostate cancer is accumulating, data on postoperative hypofractionated treatment of the prostate bed and of the pelvic lymph nodes is still scarce. This phase II trial was initiated to investigate safety and feasibility of hypofractionated treatment of the prostate bed alone or with the pelvic lymph nodes.
A total of 80 prostate cancer patients with the indication for adjuvant radiotherapy will be enrolled, where 40 patients with a low risk of lymph node involvement (arm 1) and another 40 patients with a high risk of lymph node involvement (arm 2) will each receive 54 Gy in 18 fractions to the prostate bed. Arm 2 will be given 45 Gy to the pelvic lymph nodes additionally. Helical Tomotherapy and daily image guidance will be used.
This trial was initiated to substantiate data on hypofractionated treatment of the prostate bed and generate first data on adjuvant hypofractionated radiotherapy of the pelvic lymph nodes.
Prostate cancer; Radiotherapy; Hypofractionation; Helical tomotherapy; Prostate bed; Pelvic lymph nodes
A variety of hypofractionated radiotherapy schedules has been proposed after breast conserving surgery in the attempt to shorten the overall treatment time. The aim of the present study is to assess acute and late toxicity of using daily fractionation of 2.25 Gy to a total dose of 45 Gy to the whole breast in a mono-institutional series.
Eighty-five women with early breast cancer were assigned to receive 45 Gy followed by a boost to the tumour bed. Early and late toxicity were scored according to the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group criteria. For comparison, a group of 70 patients with similar characteristics and treated with conventional fractionation of 2 Gy to a total dose of 50 Gy in 25 fractions followed by a boost, was retrospectively selected.
Overall median treatment duration was 29 days for hypofractionated radiotherapy and 37 days for conventional radiotherapy. Early reactions were observed in 72/85 (85%) patients treated with hypofractionation and in 67/70 (96%) patients treated with conventional fractionation (p = 0.01). Late toxicity was observed in 8 patients (10%) in the hypofractionation group and in 10 patients (15%) in the conventional fractionation group, respectively (p = 0.4).
The hypofractionated schedule delivering 45 Gy in 20 fractions shortened the overall treatment time by 1 week with a reduction of skin acute toxicity and no increase of late effects compared to the conventional fractionation. Our results support the implementation of hypofractionated schedules in clinical practice.
New highly conformal irradiation modalities have emerged for treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma. Helical tomotherapy offers both intensity-modulated irradiation and accurate patient positioning and was shown to significantly decrease radiation doses to the critical organs. Here we review some of the most promising applications of helical tomotherapy in Hodgkin disease. By decreasing doses to the heart or the breast, helical tomotherapy might decrease the risk of long-term cardiac toxicity or secondary breast cancers, which are major concerns in patients receiving chest radiotherapy. Other strategies, such as debulking radiotherapy prior to stem cell transplantation or total lymphoid irradiation may be clinically relevant. However, helical tomotherapy may also increase the volume of tissues that receive lower doses, which has been implicated in the carcinogenesis process. Prospective assessments of these new irradiation modalities of helical tomotherapy are required to confirm the potential benefits of highly conformal therapies applied to hematological malignancies.
Hodgkin lymphoma; Helical tomotherapy; Cardiac toxicity; Secondary cancers
Radiation-induced dermatitis is a common side effect of breast irradiation, with hypofractionation being a well-known risk factor. In the context of the widespread adoption of hypofractionated breast radiotherapy, we evaluated the effect of hypofractionated radiotherapy on the incidence of skin toxicity in patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy.
Patients and Methods
We retrospectively reviewed the records of patients with breast cancer treated from 2004 to 2006 at a single institution. Patients undergoing lumpectomy with or without adjuvant chemotherapy followed by hypofractionated radiotherapy consisting of 42.4 Gy in 16 fractions were included in the study. Using cosmetic and skin toxicity scales, all patients were evaluated weekly during treatment and at scheduled follow-up visits with the radiation oncologist.
During the study period, 162 patients underwent radiotherapy, and 30% of those (n = 48) received chemotherapy. Radiotherapy boost to the tumour bed was more common in the chemotherapy group [n = 20 (42%)] than in the radiotherapy-alone group [n = 30 (26%)]. We observed no statistically significant difference between the groups with regard to acute skin toxicity of grade 3 or higher (2.1% in the chemotherapy group vs. 4.4% in the radiation-alone group, p = 0.67) or of grades 1–2 toxicity (62.5% vs. 51.7% respectively, p = 0.23). There was also no significant difference in late grade 3 or higher skin toxicity between the groups (2.1% vs. 0% respectively, p = 0.30) or in grades 1–2 toxicity (20.8% vs. 25.5% respectively, p = 0.69). Similarly, excellent or good cosmetic result scores were similar in both groups (p = 0.80)
In our single-institution review, we observed no adverse effects of chemotherapy in combination with hypofractionated whole-breast irradiation. Further investigations are necessary to better elucidate the effects of chemotherapy on skin toxicity in the context of hypofractionated irradiation.
Breast cancer; hypofractionated radiotherapy; chemotherapy; skin toxicity
To report results in terms of feasibility and early toxicity of hypofractionated simultaneous integrated boost (SIB) approach with Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT) as adjuvant treatment after breast-conserving surgery.
Between September 2010 and May 2011, 50 consecutive patients presenting early-stage breast cancer were submitted to adjuvant radiotherapy with SIB-VMAT approach using RapidArc in our Institution (Istituto Clinico Humanitas ICH). Three out of 50 patients were irradiated bilaterally (53 tumours in 50 patients). All patients were enrolled in a phase I-II trial approved by the ICH ethical committee. All 50 patients enrolled in the study underwent VMAT-SIB technique to irradiate the whole breast with concomitant boost irradiation of the tumor bed. Doses to whole breast and surgical bed were 40.5 Gy and 48 Gy respectively, delivered in 15 fractions over 3 weeks. Skin toxicities were recorded during and after treatment according to RTOG acute radiation morbidity scoring criteria with a median follow-up of 12 months (range 8–16). Cosmetic outcomes were assessed as excellent/good or fair/poor.
The median age of the population was 68 years (range 36–88). According to AJCC staging system, 38 breast lesions were classified as pT1, and 15 as pT2; 49 cases were assessed as N0 and 4 as N1. The maximum acute skin toxicity by the end of treatment was Grade 0 in 20/50 patients, Grade 1 in 32/50, Grade 2 in 0 and Grade 3 in 1/50 (one of the 3 cases of bilateral breast irradiation). No Grade 4 toxicities were observed. All Grade 1 toxicities had resolved within 3 weeks. No significant differences in cosmetic scores on baseline assessment vs. 3 months and 6 months after the treatment were observed: all patients were scored as excellent/good (50/50) compared with baseline; no fair/poor judgment was recorded. No other toxicities or local failures were recorded during follow-up.
The 3-week course of postoperative radiation using VMAT with SIB showed to be feasible and was associated with acceptable acute skin toxicity profile. Long-term follow-up data are needed to assess late toxicity and clinical outcomes.
Breast cancer; Simultaneous integrated boost; Hypofractionation; Volumetric modulated arc therapy
Breast cancer diagnosis and treatment can have a profound influence on a woman's physical, psychosocial, and overall well-being. We examined the prevalence of depressive symptoms and its association with health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in women who are survivors of breast cancer. We also assessed if factors, including metastasis, cancer recurrence, diagnosis of new primary cancers, and comorbid conditions, are associated with depressive symptoms.
The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-8) and European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 were mailed to assess depressive symptoms and HRQOL, respectively, in breast cancer patients who received cancer treatment in a large tertiary cancer center.
Two hundred forty patients participated (56% response rate and 6–13 years since treatment). The mean score on the PHQ-8 scale was 4 points (standard deviation [SD] 4.8, median 2.0). Sixteen percent had PHQ-8 score ≥10 and were categorized as depressed. Depression was inversely associated with HRQOL subscales for functioning, financial, and global health and positively associated with symptoms. Logistic regression showed that younger age (odds ratio [OR] age in years 0.92, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.86- 0.99, p<0.02), rheumatoid arthritis (OR 8.4, 95%CI 1.3-57.4, p<0.03), and years from treatment (OR 0.70, 95% CI 0.46-0.99, p<0.05) were significant correlates of depression.
Depression is a significant health concern for breast cancer survivors and is associated with lower HRQOL. The results suggest the need to monitor women with breast cancer for depression and provide resources for treating depression during the survival period.
Interest in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) outcome research in dermatology is increasing, especially in the systemic treatment of psoriasis with biologic agents. In other specialties, such as oncology, the application of a HRQoL intervention is considered to be an aid for monitoring disease and treatment over time, for the communication with the patient, and for improving treatment outcome. However, in dermatology practice, the application of this intervention is relatively new. Moreover, evidence on the effectiveness of a HRQoL intervention in dermatology is missing. It is hypothesized that the application of a HRQoL intervention in dermatology practice will have a positive impact on patients’ HRQoL as well as on doctor-patient communication.
In a prospective multicenter cluster randomized controlled trial, patients diagnosed with moderate to severe psoriasis who receive biologic treatment, will be followed for 48 weeks. The study sites, and not the patients, will be randomly allocated via a computer-based randomization system to either the intervention (treatment with etanercept and standardized HRQoL assessment and communication) or the control group (treatment with etanercept alone). The HRQoL intervention will include 1) the electronic assessment of the Skindex-29, a well-studied dermatology-specific HRQoL questionnaire, and 2) the communication of the resulting Skindex-29 data with the patient. Prior to study start, dermatologists in the intervention group will be educated and trained in standardized HRQoL assessment and communication using the Skindex-29. At six consecutive visits, patients at study sites in the intervention group will be asked to complete the Skindex-29 on a desk-top pc at the clinic, just before their consultation with the dermatologist. A print-out of the completed questionnaire will be made and, guided by this print-out, feedback on the HRQoL scores will be given during the consultation. Primary outcome parameters are the impact of the HRQoL intervention on patients’ HRQoL, and the effect of the HRQoL intervention on doctor-patient communication. Secondary outcomes include health status and disease severity.
The Netherlands National Trial Register (NTR): NTR1364.
Dermatology; Randomized controlled trial; Patient-reported outcomes; Health-related quality of life; Intervention; Skindex-29; Psoriasis; Biologic; Etanercept
Accelerated hypofractionation is an attractive approach for adjuvant whole breast radiotherapy. In this study we evaluated the adverse effects at least 3 years post an accelerated hypofractionated whole breast radiotherapy schedule.
From October 2004 to March 2006, 39 consecutive patients aged over 18 years with pTis, pT1-2, pN0-1 breast adenocarcinoma who underwent conservative surgery were treated with an adjuvant accelerated hypofractionated radiotherapy schedule consisting of 34 Gy in 10 daily fractions over 2 weeks to the whole breast, followed after 1 week by an electron boost dose of 8 Gy in a single fraction to the tumour bed. Skin and lung radiation toxicity was evaluated daily during therapy, once a week for one month after radiotherapy completion, every 3 months for the first year and from then on every six months. In particular lung toxicity was investigated in terms of CT density evaluation, pulmonary functional tests, and clinical and radiological scoring. Paired t-test, Chi-square test and non-parametric Wilcoxon test were performed.
After a median follow-up of 43 months (range 36-52 months), all the patients are alive and disease-free. None of the patients showed any clinical signs of lung toxicity, no CT-lung toxicity was denoted by radiologist on CT lung images acquired about 1 year post-radiotherapy, no variation of pulmonary density evaluated in terms of normalised Hounsfield numbers was evident. Barely palpable increased density of the treated breast was noted in 9 out of 39 patients (in 2 patients this toxicity was limited to the boost area) and teleangectasia (<1/cm2) limited to the boost area was evident in 2 out of 39 patients. The compliance with the treatment was excellent (100%).
The radiotherapy schedule investigated in this study (i.e 34 Gy in 3.4 Gy/fr plus boost dose of 8 Gy in single fraction) is a feasible and safe treatment and does not lead to adjunctive acute and late toxicities. A longer follow up is necessary to confirm these favourable results.
Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) has been hypothesized to predict time to additional breast cancer events and all-cause mortality in breast cancer survivors.
Women with early stage breast cancer (n=2967) completed the SF-36 (mental and physical health-related quality of life) and standardized psychosocial questionnaires to assess social support, optimism, hostility, and depression prior to randomization into a dietary trial. Cox regression was performed to assess whether these measures of quality of life and psychosocial functioning predicted time to additional breast cancer events and all-cause mortality; hazard ratios were the measure of association.
There were 492 additional breast cancer events and 301 deaths occurred over a median 7.3 years (range: 0.01–10.8 years) of follow-up. In multivariate models, poorer physical health was associated with both decreased time to additional breast cancer events and all-cause mortality (p trend=0.005 and 0.004, respectively), while greater hostility predicted additional breast cancer events only (p trend=0.03). None of the other psycho-social variables predicted either outcome. The hazard ratios comparing persons with poor (bottom two quintiles) to better (top three quintiles) physical health were 1.42 (95% CI: 1.16, 1.75) for decreased time to additional breast cancer events and 1.37 (95% CI: 1.08, 1.74) for all-cause mortality. Potentially modifiable factors associated with poor physical health included higher BMI, lower physical activity, lower alcohol consumption, and more insomnia (p<0.05 for all).
Interventions to improve physical health should be tested as a means to increase time to additional breast cancer events and mortality among breast cancer survivors.
physical health; breast cancer; oncology; survival
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in American women across most ethnic groups. Although the psychosocial impact of breast cancer is being studied, there is little information on women from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.
We conducted a qualitative study with breast cancer survivors (BCS) of various ethnicities. A total of 102 BCS participated in focus group interviews (24 African Americans, 34 Asians, 26 Latinas and 18 Caucasians); 20 health professionals participated in key informant interviews. Important ethnic differences in type of treatment were noted, Asians and Latinas were more likely to receive mastectomies and African American BCS were least likely to receive adjuvant therapies, including radiation and chemotherapy. These BCS enjoyed a fairly good overall health-related quality of life (HRQOL) with some persistent concerns. The prevailing concerns among all women included overall health, moderate physical concerns, cancer recurrence or metastases, psychosocial concerns related to worry about children and burdening the family, and body image and sexual health concerns. Additional challenges included: lack of knowledge about breast cancer; medical care issues such as insurance, cost and amount of time spent with physician; cultural sensitivity of providers, language barriers, cultural factors related to beliefs about illness, gender role and family obligations (e.g. self-sacrifice). These BCS, particularly the women of color, voiced that their spiritual beliefs and practices are central to their coping. This study accomplishes two goals; it adds to the sparse literature concerning the psychosocial sequelae of breast cancer among women of color, and it increases our knowledge of specific cultural influences (e.g. dietary practices, coping) and socio-ecological factors on HRQOL. More importantly, the study addressed areas that have not been studied before, specifically, an in-depth study on BCS QOL comparing multiple ethnic groups in the US. The results of this investigation will provide preliminary information to survivors and health-care providers about the impact of culture and socio-ecological contexts on survivorship.
Among women of all major ethnic groups, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death (American Cancer Society (ACS), 2002). In 2002, over 203,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer (ACS, 2002). Ethnic disparities exist for cancer stage, diagnosis, survival, morbidity and mortality. In general, ethnic minority women are diagnosed with more advanced disease and experience greater morbidity and mortality (Haynes & Smedley, 1999; Miller et al., 1996; Ries et al., 2000; Shinagawa, 2000).
In general, increases in survival rates have prompted greater interest in the quality of life (QOL) of breast cancer survivors (BCS) over the past two decades. Additionally, the QOL of cancer survivors from diverse ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds is an emerging priority area for studies on survivorship research and clinical care (Haynes and Smedley, 1999; National Cancer Institute (NCI), 2002; President’s Cancer Panel, 2000).
Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) has emerged as a new treatment option for patients with oligometastatic disease. SABR delivers precise, high-dose, hypofractionated radiotherapy, and achieves excellent rates of local control. Survival outcomes for patients with oligometastatic disease treated with SABR appear promising, but conclusions are limited by patient selection, and the lack of adequate controls in most studies. The goal of this multicenter randomized phase II trial is to assess the impact of a comprehensive oligometastatic SABR treatment program on overall survival and quality of life in patients with up to 5 metastatic cancer lesions, compared to patients who receive standard of care treatment alone.
After stratification by the number of metastases (1-3 vs. 4-5), patients will be randomized between Arm 1: current standard of care treatment, and Arm 2: standard of care treatment + SABR to all sites of known disease. Patients will be randomized in a 1:2 ratio to Arm 1:Arm 2, respectively. For patients receiving SABR, radiotherapy dose and fractionation depends on the site of metastasis and the proximity to critical normal structures. This study aims to accrue a total of 99 patients within four years. The primary endpoint is overall survival, and secondary endpoints include quality of life, toxicity, progression-free survival, lesion control rate, and number of cycles of further chemotherapy/systemic therapy.
This study will provide an assessment of the impact of SABR on clinical outcomes and quality of life, to determine if long-term survival can be achieved for selected patients with oligometastatic disease, and will inform the design of a possible phase III study.
Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT01446744
Oligometastases; Stereotactic radiotherapy; Quality of life; Cancer; Survival
Long-term survivors of head and neck cancer may suffer from psychological distress and reduced quality of life because of late side-effects of the treatment. In a follow-up study of patients randomised to two different radiation fractionating regimens, 204 patients filled in a mailed questionnaire 7-11 years after treatment. The questionnaire consisted of the General Health Questionnaire, 20-item version (GHQ-20), and the EORTC Core Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30). There were no differences in psychological distress between patients receiving conventional radiotherapy and those receiving a slightly hypofractionated regimen. A high prevalence of psychological distress was found in both treatment groups (30% of 'cases' according to the GHQ-20), especially in patients with impaired cognitive or social function, or with pain. Clinicians need to be aware of this morbidity, and their ability to detect patients with psychological problems needs to be improved. The GHQ-20 can facilitate the communication process in a clinical setting. With an increased awareness of these problems and by using valid instruments for identification of patients at risk, the clinicians may intervene and help the patients to reduce their psychological distress.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the number of different radiation schedules used in Ontario to treat women with node-negative breast cancer after lumpectomy and axillary dissection. DESIGN: Retrospective survey. SETTING: Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, and regional centres of the Ontario Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation (in Hamilton, London, Ottawa, Windsor and Thunder Bay). PATIENTS: A total of 551 of 1624 consecutive patients with node-negative breast cancer having undergone lumpectomy and axillary dissection who were eligible but did not participate in the Ontario Clinical Oncology Group randomized clinical trial and who received adjuvant breast irradiation between April 1984 and February 1989. OUTCOME MEASURES: Schedules of radiotherapy received. RESULTS: Forty-eight different radiotherapy schedules were identified. Total doses ranged from 4000 to 6600 cGy and the number of fractions from 15 to 30. Several different schedules were preferred: 322 patients (58.5%) received 4000 cGy in 15 or 16 fractions to the whole breast over 3 weeks plus a local boost of 1250 cGy to the primary site in 5 fractions over 1 week; 66 patients (12.0%) received 4000 cGy in 15 or 16 fractions over 3 weeks to the whole breast plus a local boost of 1000 cGy to the primary site in 4 or 5 fractions over 1 week; and 63 patients (11.5%) received 5000 cGy in 25 fractions to the whole breast in 5 weeks, without a boost. CONCLUSIONS: The practice of adjuvant radiotherapy for early breast cancer in Ontario varies. The optimal radiation regimen for patients after lumpectomy should be determined through randomized clinical trials.
The purpose of this study was to identify parameters capable of predicting the deterioration of hepatic function after helical tomotherapy in patients with unresectable locally advanced hepatocellular carcinoma.
Between March 2006 and February 2012, 72 patients were eligible for this study. All patients received hypofractionated radiotherapy using the TomoTherapy Hi-Art (TomoTherapy, Madison, WI, USA) at Seoul St. Mary's Hospital and Incheon St. Mary's Hospital, the Catholic University of Korea. The radiation dose was a median 50 Gy (range: 40–50 Gy) in 10 fractions to 95% of the planning target volume. Radiation-induced hepatic toxicity was defined as an increase of at least 2 points in the Child-Pugh (CP) score within 3 months after completion of helical tomotherapy.
An increase of at least 2 points in the CP score occurred in 32 of the 72 patients (44.4%). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that pretreatment CP class and V15Gy were significant parameters associated with an increase in CP score (p = 0.009 and p < 0.001, respectively). The area under receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.863 for V15Gy (p < 0.001). For V15Gy, with a cutoff value of 43.2%, the accuracy was 0.806 (58/72) with a sensitivity of 0.938 and a specificity of 0.725.
An increase of at least 2 points in the CP score is a radiation dose-limiting factor, and the non-target normal liver receiving a dose more than 15 Gy (V15Gy) should be <43.2% to reduce the risk of the deterioration of hepatic function.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); Helical tomotherapy; Radiation-induced hepatic toxicity (RIHT); Child-Pugh score (CP score); Dosimetric parameter; The deterioration of hepatic function
The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy of intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and helical tomotherapy for endometrial cancer.
Between November 1, 2006 and November 31, 2010, 31 patients with histologically confirmed endometrial cancer were enrolled. All enrolled patients received total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy with adjuvant whole pelvic IMRT or helical tomotherapy.
The actuarial 3-year overall survival, disease-free survival, locoregional control, and distant metastasis-free rates for the IMRT and helical tomotherapy groups were 87.5% versus 100%, 91.7% versus 51.7%, 91.7% versus 83.3%, and 91.7% versus 51.7%, respectively. The conformal index and uniformity index for IMRT versus helical tomotherapy was 1.25 versus 1.17 (P = 0.04) and 1.08 versus 1.05 (P < 0.01), respectively. Two of 31 patients with cervical stump failure were noted, one in the IMRT group and the other in the helical tomotherapy group. No acute or late grade 3 or 4 toxicities were noted, including proctitis, or genitourinary or gastrointestinal disturbances.
Helical tomotherapy is as effective as IMRT and has better uniformity and conformal indices, and critical organ-sparing properties. Prospective clinical trials are needed to evaluate the comparative efficacy of IMRT versus helical tomotherapy.
endometrial cancer; helical tomotherapy; intensity-modulated radiotherapy
To improve local control for inoperable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), a phase I dose escalation study for locally advanced and medically inoperable patients was devised to escalate tumor dose while limiting the dose to organs at risk including the esophagus, spinal cord, and residual lung. Helical tomotherapy provided image-guided IMRT, delivered in a 5-week hypofractionated schedule to minimize the effect of accelerated repopulation.
Forty-six patients judged not to be surgical candidates with Stage I-IV NSCLC were treated. Concurrent chemotherapy was not allowed. Radiotherapy was delivered via helical tomotherapy and limited to the primary site and clinically proven or suspicious nodal regions without elective nodal irradiation. Patients were placed in 1 of 5 dose bins, all treated for 25 fractions, with dose per fraction ranging from 2.28 to 3.22 Gy. The bin doses of 57 to 80.5 Gy result in 2 Gy/fraction normalized tissue dose (NTD) equivalents of 60 to 100 Gy. In each bin, the starting dose was determined by the relative normalized tissue mean dose modeled to cause < 20% Grade 2 pneumonitis. Dose constraints included spinal cord maximum NTD of 50 Gy, esophageal maximum NTD < 64 Gy to ≤ 0.5 cc volume, and esophageal effective volume of 30%.
No grade 3 RTOG acute pneumonitis (NCI-CTC v.3) or esophageal toxicities (CTCAE v.3.0 and RTOG) were observed at median follow-up of 8.1 months. Pneumonitis rates were 70% grade 1 and 13% grade 2. Multivariate analysis identified lung NTDmean (p=0.012) and administration of adjuvant chemotherapy following radiotherapy (p=0.015) to be independent risk factors for grade 2 pneumonitis. Only 7 patients (15%) required narcotic analgesics (RTOG grade 2 toxicity) for esophagitis, with only 2.3% average weight loss during treatment. Best in-field gross response rates were 17% complete response, 43% partial response, 26% stable disease, and 6.5% in-field thoracic progression. The out-of-field thoracic failure rate was 13%, and distal failure rate was 28%. The median survival was 18 months with 2-year overall survival of 46.8% ± 9.7% for this cohort, 50% of whom were stage IIIB and 30% stage IIIA.
Dose escalation can be safely achieved in NSCLC with lower than expected rates of pneumonitis and esophagitis using hypofractionated image-guided IMRT. The maximum tolerated dose has yet to be reached.
Hypofractionation; Dose Escalation; Tomotherapy; Image Guided Radiotherapy; IMRT
To identify the influence of lymphedema on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) more than 1 year after breast cancer surgery.
Ninety-six breast cancer patients who survived more than 1 year after surgery and 104 members of the general population were recruited. Patients were divided into 2 groups according to the presence of lymphedema. HRQOL was evaluated with the Short-Form 36-Item Health Survey.
There were no statistically significant differences in any scales between groups: groups of breast cancer survivors with and without lymphedema. Compared with the general population, breast cancer survivors had lower quality of life scores in all scales, although the vitality and mental health scales did not differ from chance variation at the 5% level.
In this study, the presence of lymphedema in breast cancer patients who survived over 1 year after surgery might not affect the quality of life. However quality of life of breast cancer survivors is lower than in general population except for some mental health components.
Breast neoplasms; Lymphedema; Quality of life
Radiation therapy is an essential modality in the treatment of breast cancer. Addition of radiotherapy to surgery has significantly increased local control and survival rates of the disease. However, radiotherapy is also associated with side effects, such as tissue fibrosis or enhanced vascular morbidity. Modern radiotherapy strategies, such as intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), can shorten the overall treatment time by integration of the additional tumor bed boost significantly. To what extent this might be possible without impairing treatment outcome and cosmetic results remains to be clarified.
The IMRT-MC2 study is a prospective, two armed, multicenter, randomized phase-III-trial comparing intensity modulated radiotherapy with integrated boost to conventional radiotherapy with consecutive boost in patients with breast cancer after breast conserving surgery. 502 patients will be recruited and randomized into two arms: patients in arm A will receive IMRT in 28 fractions delivering 50.4 Gy to the breast and 64.4 Gy to the tumor bed by integrated boost, while patients in arm B will receive conventional radiotherapy of the breast in 28 fractions to a dose of 50.4 Gy and consecutive boost in 8 fractions to a total dose of 66.4 Gy.
Primary objectives of the study are the evaluation of the cosmetic results 6 weeks and 2 years post treatment and the 2- and 5-year local recurrence rates for the two different radiotherapy strategies. Secondary objectives are long term overall survival, disease free survival and quality of life.
ClinicalTrials.gov Protocol ID: NCT01322854.
To evaluate the feasibility of image-guided radiotherapy based on helical Tomotherapy to spare the contralateral parotid gland in head and neck cancer patients with unilateral or no neck node metastases.
A retrospective review of 52 patients undergoing radiotherapy for head and neck cancers with image guidance based on daily megavoltage CT imaging with helical tomotherapy was performed.
Mean contralateral parotid dose and the volume of the contralateral parotid receiving 40 Gy or more were compared between radiotherapy plans with significant constraint (SC) of less than 20 Gy on parotid dose (23 patients) and the conventional constraint (CC) of 26 Gy (29 patients). All patients had PTV coverage of at least 95% to the contralateral elective neck nodes. Mean contralateral parotid dose was, respectively, 14.1 Gy and 24.7 Gy for the SC and CC plans (p < 0.0001). The volume of contralateral parotid receiving 40 Gy or more was respectively 5.3% and 18.2% (p < 0.0001)
Tomotherapy for head and neck cancer minimized radiotherapy dose to the contralateral parotid gland in patients undergoing elective node irradiation without sacrificing target coverage.
Head and neck cancer; Tomotherapy; Parotid sparing
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. Primary treatment is surgery, with mastectomy as the main treatment for most of the twentieth century. However, over that time, the extent of the procedure varied, and less extensive mastectomies are employed today compared to those used in the past, as excessively mutilating procedures did not improve survival. Today, many women receive breast-conserving surgery, usually with radiotherapy to the residual breast, instead of mastectomy, as it has been shown to be as effective as mastectomy in early disease. The relatively new skin-sparing mastectomy, often with immediate breast reconstruction, improves aesthetic outcomes and is oncologically safe. Nipple-sparing mastectomy is newer and used increasingly, with better acceptance by patients, and again appears to be oncologically safe. Breast reconstruction is an important adjunct to mastectomy, as it has a positive psychological impact on the patient, contributing to improved quality of life.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the technical feasibility of an image-guided intensity modulated radiotherapy (IG-IMRT) using involved-field technique to perform a hypofractionated schedule for patients with locally advanced or recurrent pancreatic cancer.
From May 2009 to November 2011, 12 patients with locally advanced or locally recurrent pancreatic cancer received hypofractionated CCRT using TomoTherapy Hi-Art with concurrent and sequential chemotherapy at Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, the Catholic University of Korea. The total dose delivered was 45 Gy in 15 fractions or 50 Gy in 20 fractions. The target volume did not include the uninvolved regional lymph nodes. Treatment planning and delivery were performed using the IG-IMRT technique. The follow-up duration was a median of 31.1 months (range: 5.7-36.3 months).
Grade 2 or worse acute toxicities developed in 7 patients (58%). Grade 3 or worse gastrointestinal and hematologic toxicity occurred in 0% and 17% of patients, respectively. In the response evaluation, the rates of partial response and stable disease were 58% and 42%, respectively. The rate of local failure was 8% and no regional failure was observed. Distant failure was the main cause of treatment failure. The progression-free survival and overall survival durations were 7.6 and 12.1 months, respectively.
The involved-field technique and IG-IMRT delivered via a hypofractionated schedule are feasible for patients with locally advanced or recurrent pancreatic cancer.
Unresectable pancreatic cancer; Hypofractionated radiotherapy; Image-guided; Intensity-modulated radiotherapy
The risk of ipsilateral breast tumour recurrence (IBTR) following breast conservation surgery (BCS) for invasive breast cancer (IBC) and radiotherapy is dependent on patient-, tumour- and treatment-related variables. In the Cambridge Breast Unit, breast conserving surgery has been performed with a target radial margin of 5 mm for IBC, in combination with 40-Gy hypofractionated (15 fractions) breast radiotherapy, since 1999.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
An audit was performed of cases treated between 1999 and 2004. A total of 563 patients underwent BCS for invasive breast cancer with 90.4% receiving radiotherapy (RT) and 60.4% of patients receiving boost RT (3 fractions of 3-Gy).
After a median follow-up of 58 months, five of the 563 (0.9%) patients developed IBTR. The 5-year actuarial IBTR rate was 1.1%. In terms of distant disease recurrence (DDR), 29 of the 563 (5.2%) had DDR during follow-up, giving a 5-year actuarial DDR rate of 5.4%. The 5-year breast cancer specific survival was 95%, with the poorer NPI groups having worse breast cancer specific survival (Log-rank, P < 0.0001). More importantly, patients with IBTR had a shorter breast cancer-specific survival than those who were IBTR-free (Log-rank, P < 0.0001).
Our treatment regimen, combining BCS with a 5-mm target margin and hypofractionated 40-Gy RT, results in an extremely low rate of IBTR, and compares favourably with the target IBTR rate of < 5% defined by the Association of Breast Surgeons (ABS) at BASO guidelines.
Breast conserving surgery; Radiotherapy; Ipsilateral breast tumour recurrence
Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) has become an increasingly important endpoint in cancer studies; however, the research into the HRQOL of patients with high-grade glioma (HGG) is sparse compared with that for patients with other neoplasms. Owing to the specific location and poor prognosis, it is more important and difficult to study HRQOL in patients with HGG than in those with other tumors; furthermore, the study of HRQOL in patients with HGG differs from that for patients with other tumors. In this review, we identified and compared the most frequently used instruments to assess HRQOL; analyzed specific facets and determinants of HRQOL (such as sex, tumor location and histological classification, depression, and cognitive function), as well as the association between HRQOL and survival; and appraised the effects of new treatments on HRQOL in patients with HGG from randomized controlled trials. Furthermore, we detected broadly existing problems and many contradictory outcomes and gave some proper interpretation and suggestions regarding them.
cognitive function; depression; health-related quality of life; high-grade glioma; instruments; survival
Whole breast irradiation (WBI) is considered standard of care among both patients having undergone breast-conserving therapy for invasive breast carcinoma and selected cases post mastectomy. Since the introduction of WBI, clinical trials have been conducted to define the optimal dose, schedule and length of WBI aiming to increase efficacy while reducing toxicity. In the paper discussed in this issue's journal club, Whelan et al. present the latest in a series of randomized clinical trials on hypofractionated radiotherapy.