Present clinical practice of breast cancer radiotherapy in Italy: a nationwide survey by the Italian Society of Radiotherapy and Clinical Oncology (AIRO) Breast Group

Italian Society of Radiotherapy and Clinical Oncology (AIRO) Breast Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)674-682
Number of pages9
JournalRadiol. Med.
Volume125
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

Keywords

  • Breast Neoplasms/radiotherapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'/statistics & numerical data
  • Radiation Oncologists
  • Societies, Medical
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

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