Breast reconstruction and radiation therapy: An Italian expert Delphi consensus statements and critical review

Icro Meattini, Carlotta Becherini, Marco Bernini, Elisabetta Bonzano, Carmen Criscitiello, Fiorenza De Rose, Maria Carmen De Santis, Antonella Fontana, Pierfrancesco Franco, Oreste Davide Gentilini, Lorenzo Livi, Bruno Meduri, Silvana Parisi, Nadia Pasinetti, Agnese Prisco, Nicola Rocco

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Breast conserving surgery (BCS) plus radiation therapy (RT) or mastectomy have shown comparable oncological outcomes in early-stage breast cancer and are considered standard of care treatments. Postmastectomy radiation therapy (PMRT) targeted to both the chest wall and regional lymph nodes is recommended in high-risk patients. Oncoplastic breast conserving surgery (OBCS) represents a significant recent improvement in breast surgery. Nevertheless, it represents a challenge for radiation oncologists as it triggers different decision-making strategies related to treatment volume definition and target delineation. Hence, the choice of the best combination and timing when offering RT to breast cancer patients who underwent or are planned to undergo reconstruction procedures should be carefully evaluated and based on individual considerations. We present an Italian expert Delphi Consensus statements and critical review, led by a core group of all the professional profiles involved in the management of breast cancer patients undergoing reconstructive procedures and RT. The report was structured as to consider the main recommendations on breast reconstruction and RT and analyse the current open issues deserving investigation and consensus. We used a three key-phases and a Delphi process. The final expert panel of 40 colleagues selected key topics as identified by the core group of the project. A final consensus on 26 key statements on RT and breast reconstruction after three rounds of the Delphi voting process and harmonisation was reached. An accompanying critical review of available literature was summarized. A clear communication and cooperation between surgeon and radiation oncologist is of paramount relevance both in the setting of breast reconstruction following mastectomy when PMRT is planned and when extensive glandular rearrangements as OBCS is performed. A shared-decision making, relying on outcome-based and patient-centred considerations, is essential, while waiting for higher level-of-evidence data.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102236
JournalCancer Treatment Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021


  • Breast cancer
  • Breast reconstruction
  • Consensus statements
  • Radiation therapy
  • Review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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