Beaumont Health System has launched national research of accelerated whole breast radiation treatment for women with early-stage breast cancer. The study, RTOG 1005, was developed by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, a cancer therapy research cooperative group funded by the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Frank Vicini, M.D., Beaumont's chief of oncology services and the study's national principal investigator, says this approach could ultimately shorten treatment time for the majority of women with breast cancer.
Past research has shown that giving radiation therapy after breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy) helps keep cancer from coming back in the breast. Radiation therapy is given to the whole breast on a Monday through Friday basis for five weeks. It can be followed by what's known as a "boost" - a higher dose of radiation to the site of the cancer - adding another 1 to 1-1/2 weeks of treatment time.
This new research study will compare radiation therapy given with a higher daily dose over three weeks plus a "boost" given each day with standard whole breast radiation followed by a "boost" given on separate days extending over 6 to 6-1/2 weeks.