Houston – A recent study revealed that patients with early stage breast cancer could receive more benefits from a shorter, more intense radiation treatment.

The study led by M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, showed that patients with early stage breast cancer that are treated with higher doses of breast radiation in a four week period, experienced less side effects and an overall improvement of their life quality. The new therapy was compared to the traditional lower doses given over a six week period.

Photo: dolgachov via Getty Images
Photo: dolgachov via Getty Images

“Patients who received the shorter course reported less difficulty in caring for their families’ needs. Most are busy working mothers, working inside or outside the home, and are juggling a number of priorities. It’s paramount that we address this need.” Dr. Simona Shaitelman, the study’s initial author and a professor of radiation oncology, explained.

The research published in JAMA Oncology, should be openly discussed among patients who are evaluating their treatment options.

The common therapy for the disease is a method known as conventionally fractionated whole breast radiation. It is generally administered in small doses over long periods of time.

However, the American Society of Radiation Oncology recommended that only a third part of patients that suffer from breast cancer are eligible for the shorter, higher dose treatment.

Several years ago, different studies of the shorter method failed. As consequence, longer therapies were preferred among specialists. But, as Shaitelman argued, by the time those researches were conducted they used equipment that are outdated today. She also said that the U.S. oncologists haven’t appeared to be so open minded with the friendlier method.


Source: JAMA Oncology