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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-8

Concurrent chemo-radiotherapy in the treatment of early breast cancer: Current status


Medical Oncology, Oncology Center, University Hospital Mohammed VI, Cadi Ayyad University, Faculty of Medicine, Marrakech, Morocco

Correspondence Address:
Nabil Ismaili
Mohammed VI University Hospital, Marrakech
Morocco
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2278-0513.110756

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Concurrent chemo-radiotherapy (CCRT) in early breast cancer was investigated by few authors and remains controversial. This treatment is more commonly used for locally advanced breast cancer and showed high rate of complete pathological response. A search of articles published in English literature, between 1980 and November 2012, was conducted on Medline using the following terms: "breast cancer", "chemotherapy", "concurrent radiotherapy", and "Trastuzumab". We identified five phase I/II trials and three randomized phase three trials evaluating concurrent chemoradiotherapy in the adjuvant of breast cancer. In patients with early breast cancer having positive lymph nodes, phases III clinical trials showed that CCRT improved local control after conservative breast surgery. However, these randomized trials used non-standard regimen: Cyclophosphamide, methotrexate and fluorouracil (CMF) or fluorouracil, mitoxantrone and cyclophosphamide (FNC). In addition, in phases II clinical trials, concurrent use of taxanes and anthracycline with standard whole-breast irradiation showed high rate of toxicity: Pulmonary toxicity with taxane; and cardiac and skin toxicity with anthracycline. Consequentely, CCRT is not be used in practice because of concerns of toxicity with the standard drugs (anthracyclines and taxanes) and radiation. Anthracyclines with partial breast irradiation (PBI) was feasible according to one phase I clinical trial, and should be investigated in randomized clinical trials. Concurrent Trastuzumab plus radiotherapy is safe and can be used in HER2-positive breast cancer; in this case, cardiac volume sparing and patient selections for internal mammary chain irradiation are highly recommended. The present paper aimed to review the current data evaluating the efficacy and safety of CCRT in early breast cancer.


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