Radiation-related quality of life parameters after targeted intraoperative radiotherapy versus whole breast radiotherapy in patients with breast cancer: results from the randomized phase III trial TARGIT-A

Grit Welzel, Angela Boch, Elena Sperk, Frank Hofmann, Uta Kraus-Tiefenbacher, Axel Gerhardt, Marc Suetterlin, Frederik Wenz
Radiation Oncology 2013 January 7, 8: 9

BACKGROUND: Intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT) is a new treatment approach for early stage breast cancer. This study reports on the effects of IORT on radiation-related quality of life (QoL) parameters.

METHODS: Two hundred and thirty women with stage I-III breast cancer (age, 31 to 84 years) were entered into the study. A single-center subgroup of 87 women from the two arms of the randomized phase III trial TARGIT-A (TARGeted Intra-operative radioTherapy versus whole breast radiotherapy for breast cancer) was analyzed. Furthermore, results were compared to non-randomized control groups: n = 90 receiving IORT as a tumor bed boost followed by external beam whole breast radiotherapy (EBRT) outside of TARGIT-A (IORT-boost), and n = 53 treated with EBRT followed by an external-beam boost (EBRT-boost). QoL was collected using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaires C30 (QLQ-C30) and BR23 (QLQ-BR23). The mean follow-up period in the TARGIT-A groups was 32 versus 39 months in the non-randomized control groups.

RESULTS: Patients receiving IORT alone reported less general pain (21.3 points), breast (7.0 points) and arm (15.1 points) symptoms, and better role functioning (78.7 points) as patients receiving EBRT (40.9; 19.0; 32.8; and 60.5 points, respectively, P < 0.01). Patients receiving IORT alone also had fewer breast symptoms than TARGIT-A patients receiving IORT followed by EBRT for high risk features on final pathology (IORT-EBRT; 7.0 versus 29.7 points, P < 0.01). There were no significant differences between TARGIT-A patients receiving IORT-EBRT compared to non-randomized IORT-boost or EBRT-boost patients and patients receiving EBRT without a boost.

CONCLUSIONS: In the randomized setting, important radiation-related QoL parameters after IORT were superior to EBRT. Non-randomized comparisons showed equivalent parameters in the IORT-EBRT group and the control groups.

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