Adjuvant whole breast radiotherapy with simultaneous integrated boost to tumor bed with intensity modulated radiotherapy technique in elderly breast cancer patients
Adjuvant whole breast radiotherapy is the standard of care for breast cancer patients after partial mastectomy. Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) has been reported to reduce acute toxicities compared to conventional radiotherapy. IMRT with simultaneous integrated boost (SIB) technique can deliver higher doses to tumor bed and irradiate whole breast with a lower dose level to shorten overall treatment duration. This study presents the long-term results of adjuvant IMRT with SIB in elderly breast cancer patients who received partial mastectomy. From January 2007 to January 2018, 93 elder breast cancer patients (≥65-year-old) who received IMRT with SIB technique after partial mastectomy were reviewed retrospectively. The axillary areas were managed with either sentinel lymph node biopsies or axillary lymph node dissection. The dose to whole breast was 50.4 Gy in 28 fractions in all patients and the dose to tumor bed was 61.6 to 66.4 Gy in 28 fractions. The primary end point is locoregional control. Secondary end points include: overall survival, breast cancer-specific survival, distant-metastases-free survival, disease-free survival, and acute and chronic toxicities. The median follow-up was 56.1 months. One patient had ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence, 3 patients had regional lymph node recurrence, and 9 patients had distant metastases. Death occurred in 5 patients, including 3 patients died of breast cancer progression. Five-year overall survival is 96.3% and 5-year locoregional recurrence-free survival is 96.4%. The 5-year breast cancer specific survival and 5-year distant metastases-free survival is 97.5% and 87.2%, respectively. Seven patients developed second primary cancer after RT. Eighty-one point seven percent patients had acute grade 1 dermatitis while 18.3% suffered from grade 2 dermatitis. The incidence of grade 1 pneumonitis and grade 1 stomatitis was 4.3% and 8.6%, respectively. Adjuvant IMRT with SIB technique is a safe and effective treatment strategy for elderly breast cancer patients after partial mastectomy.