Treatment of Breast and Prostate Cancer by Hypofractionated Radiotherapy: Potential Risks and Benefits
Ray KJ., Sibson NR., Kiltie AE.
© 2015 The Royal College of Radiologists. Breast cancer and prostate cancer are the most common cancers diagnosed in women and men, respectively, in the UK, and radiotherapy is used extensively in the treatment of both. Invitro data suggest that tumours in the breast and prostate have unique properties that make a hypofractionated radiotherapy treatment schedule advantageous in terms of therapeutic index. Many clinical trials of hypofractionated radiotherapy treatment schedules have been completed to establish the extent to which hypofractionation can improve patient outcome. Here we present a concise description of hypofractionation, the mathematical description of converting between conventional and hypofractionated schedules, and the motivation for using hypofractionation in the treatment of breast and prostate cancer. Furthermore, we summarise the results of important recent hypofractionation trials and highlight the limitations of a hypofractionated treatment regimen.