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Stanford Trial Studies Vastly Shorter Radiation Time For Breast Cancer Treatment

Date:
November 22, 2002
Source:
Stanford University Medical Center
Summary:
A new radiation approach being tested at Stanford University Medical Center could shorten the overall treatment time for women with breast cancer. Participants will receive a single dose of radiation at the time of surgery rather than the usual six-week course of radiation therapy. The clinical trial is now recruiting patients.

STANFORD, Calif. - A new radiation approach being tested at Stanford University Medical Center could shorten the overall treatment time for women with breast cancer. Participants will receive a single dose of radiation at the time of surgery rather than the usual six-week course of radiation therapy. The clinical trial is now recruiting patients.

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"The trial should tell us whether this accelerated form of radiotherapy is safe, feasible and effective in controlling cancer recurrence in the breast for certain women who have a lumpectomy," said Frederick Dirbas, MD, assistant professor of surgical oncology at the Stanford School of Medicine and leader of the trial.

Women with a breast tumor often have a lumpectomy, surgery in which the doctor removes only the cancerous region, leaving the rest of the breast intact. The patient then receives a dose of radiation to the entire breast each weekday for about the next six weeks to minimize the risk of cancer returning.

"The fact that current radiation treatments occur every day for several weeks makes it an issue for women," Dirbas said, adding that the schedule can be inconvenient for women who work, care for young children or live far from the treatment site. He said the idea behind this prolonged schedule was that women would experience fewer side effects if the total radiation dose was broken into smaller increments.

In recent years, however, doctors in the United States and Europe have begun looking at approaches to shorten the overall treatment time while still fending off cancer. In one Italian trial with more than 100 participants, patients received a single large dose of radiation at the same time as the surgery. Two years after the initial surgery, the treatment appears to be safe and effective.

Based on this success, Dirbas and Donald Goffinet, MD, professor of radiation oncology, are replicating the Italian trial - the first U.S. trial of this technique. They hope to recruit 50 women who are older than 40, have a single breast tumor that is smaller than 2.5 centimeters and have a low likelihood of tumors elsewhere in the breast.

For information about participating in the trial, please call Janelle Maxwell at 650-498-7740.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Stanford University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Stanford University Medical Center. "Stanford Trial Studies Vastly Shorter Radiation Time For Breast Cancer Treatment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 November 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/11/021122074540.htm>.
Stanford University Medical Center. (2002, November 22). Stanford Trial Studies Vastly Shorter Radiation Time For Breast Cancer Treatment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/11/021122074540.htm
Stanford University Medical Center. "Stanford Trial Studies Vastly Shorter Radiation Time For Breast Cancer Treatment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/11/021122074540.htm (accessed November 21, 2014).

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