Results from a University of Pittsburgh study evaluating intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for breast cancer indicate that IMRT results in a lower dose of radiation to healthy breast tissue when compared to standard radiation. The findings were presented today at the 46th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) in Atlanta.
"More than 70 percent of breast cancer patients receive ionizing radiation therapy to treat their disease," said Dwight E. Heron, M.D., study co-author and assistant professor of radiation oncology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and vice chairman of radiation oncology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "While these high-energy beams are targeted to the tumor site as precisely as possible, they often inadvertently injure healthy breast tissue that surrounds the tumor site, limiting the doses of radiation that can be used to effectively destroy cancer cells. With this study, we sought to discover whether tightly focused radiation beams, such as those provided by IMRT, would make a difference in the amount of radiation received by the side of the breast opposite from the tumor site."
In the study, 65 patients with breast cancer who had received breast-conserving surgery were treated with IMRT using the Eclipseâ Planning System, Varian Medical Systems, and compared with 18 patients treated with conventional 2D or 3D radiation therapy. Results indicated a 35 percent reduction in radiation dose to the breast opposite the tumor site at the 4 cm position from the patients midline and a 57 percent reduction at the 8 cm position in favor of those patients treated with IMRT.
Clare Collins | EurekAlert!
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