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Breast cancer may be treated with radiotherapy less frequently

Breast cancer radiotherapy treatment


New research suggests that bigger doses of radiotherapy given less often may be a safe and effective way to treat breast cancer.

A ten year trial was carried out by Cancer Research UK - over a thousand women took part. The trial looked at women who had a lumpectomy following treatment for early breast cancer, followed by different radiotherapy treatments. It is hoped that the research could lead to simpler and more effective radiotherapy treatment.


Breast cancer treatment

The team of UK and US researchers found that giving 13 larger doses was as effective at preventing cancer from returning as the standard regime of 25 small doses.
The research is reported this month in the Lancet.

The research was a collaboration between the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, the Gloucestershire Oncology Centre, The Institute of Cancer Research and the University of Wisconsin.

Cancer Research UK's director of cancer information, Dr Lesley Walker, said it was a very important trial. He said that he hoped it would enable patients to have less hospital visits and an improved quality of life.

The research has been welcomed by charities including Breakthrough Breast Cancer.