AIMS: To investigate the present attitude of the Italian Radiation Oncologists in the management of breast cancer (BC) concerning hypofractionated radiotherapy (hRT), partial-breast irradiation (PBI), re-irradiation (rRT) and radiotherapy after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (post-NAC RT).
METHODS: A nationwide, 21-point questionnaire was distributed online via SurveyMonkey.
RESULTS: Seventy-four Italian Radiotherapy Centers answered to the survey. In most cases, the responding centers treated more than 100 BC patients/year between January 2016 and December 2017. Almost half of responding centers (49%) treated patients with hRT, out of these, 95% as routine practice for early-stage BC. Dose prescriptions ranged between 39 and 45 Gy indicating a high use of moderate hRT. The chest wall and regional lymph nodes were irradiated with hRT by 13% and 15% of the responding centers, respectively. PBI was used by 60% of responders, with different techniques. Only 0.6% of participants perform rRT after BC recurrence. Finally, only 11% of the interviewed centers responded to their attitude toward post-NAC RT, which, however, was indicated in 97% of patients after breast-conserving surgery.
CONCLUSIONS: This survey shows a fairly good use of hRT and a moderate practice of PBI in Italy. Some practices like hRT to the chest wall and regional lymph nodes as well as rRT need further verification. Likewise, the management of post-NAC RT is very heterogeneous. Future national clinical collaborative studies are advocated in order to investigate these controversial topics about breast cancer radiotherapy.
- Breast Neoplasms/radiotherapy
- Practice Patterns, Physicians'/statistics & numerical data
- Radiation Oncologists
- Societies, Medical
- Surveys and Questionnaires