People with breast cancer report fewer side effects using radiotherapy

Latest research show that over half of study participants did not report moderate side effects during five years after radiotherapy.

The IMPORT LOW trial, run by the Clinical Trials and Statistics Unit at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, was funded by Cancer Research UK and studied 2,016 women across centre in the UK.

Dr Indrani Bhattacharya, a Clinical Research Fellow at the ICR, said on the findings:

“The findings from this study are reassuring for women who are offered either whole breast or partial breast radiotherapy using this technique of radiotherapy, which is simple to deliver and already available in centres worldwide. This new information will help doctors discuss the risks and benefits of this type of radiotherapy with patients and may improve shared decision-making, as well as enabling them to tailor treatment for individual patients.”

Commenting on the research, Dr Bhattacharya said:

“Now that we can identify these patients who are at higher risk of reporting side-effects, this knowledge can be discussed with patients, may modify treatment and enable doctors to put in place more personalised and frequent monitoring if necessary… We have previously reported that partial breast radiotherapy is as effective as whole breast radiotherapy with similar or fewer side-effects over five years and can be safely delivered in a selected group of patients with low-risk breast cancers. This new analysis shows that patients requiring whole breast radiotherapy can be reassured about the low risk of side-effects affecting the breast and body image…”

Read the full report from ICR, here.