London, Aug 4: Breast cancer patients who have radiotherapy are likely to experience fewer side effects after five years than those who have whole breast radiotherapy, according to an experimental results.
The findings showed that women who received partial radiotherapy reported fewer long-term changes.
Further, five years after treatment almost all patients were disease-free, the researchers said.
“We started this trial because there was evidence that if someone’s cancer returns, it tends to do so close to the site of the original tumour, suggesting that some women receive unnecessary radiation to the whole breast,” said lead researcher Charlotte Coles from the Cambridge University.
“Now we have evidence to support the use of less, but equally effective, radiotherapy for selected patients,” Coles added.
For the study, the team studied more than 2,000 early stage breast cancer suffering women aged 50 or over.
“We’re delighted that the results of this trial have the potential to lead to a real change in the way selected breast cancer patients are treated,” explained Judith Bliss, Professor at the Institute of Cancer Research, London.
The technique can be carried out on standard radiotherapy machines which lead to further uptake of this treatment worldwide, Bliss noted.
While the treatment biggest challenge is to minimise the side effects that could impact a woman’s life.