Oncology: Breast Cancer Radiation Treatment May Be Halved If Trial Succeeds
Oncology may be making strides, with women possibly completing radiation treatments after breast cancer surgery in half the time if a new national study proves successful.
The study will follow 2,300 women, including about 100 at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., where the research is headquartered and directed, reports USA Today.
Participants receive a 50 percent higher-than-standard dose of radiation over three weeks following lumpectomy surgery. The usual course takes up to seven weeks.
Positive results could "have a major impact on where breast cancer treatment is going," said Dr. Frank Vicini, Beaumont's chief of oncology.
Women receiving the larger dose should be able to continue to drive and work, though "they may need a 20-minute power nap," he said, USA Today reports.
He said some women choose the more disfiguring mastectomy surgery over breast-sparing lumpectomy procedures because they want to avoid the radiation.
But with the option of fewer treatments, some might choose differently. Lumpectomy and radiation are the most common treatments for those with cancer found early.
Vicini, a national leader in breast cancer radiation options, designed the study and fought hard for three years to receive approval and funding, reports USA Today.