Once-daily radiation therapy for inflammatory breast cancer

Lindsay Brown, William Harmsen, Miran Blanchard, Matthew Goetz, James Jakub, Robert Mutter, Ivy Petersen, Jessica Rooney, Michael Stauder, Elizabeth Yan, Nadia Laack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Purpose Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare and aggressive breast cancer variant treated with multimodality therapy. A variety of approaches intended to escalate the intensity and efficacy of radiation therapy have been reported, including twice-daily radiation therapy, dose escalation, and aggressive use of bolus. Herein, we examine our outcomes for patients treated with once-daily radiation therapy with aggressive bolus utilization, focusing on treatment technique. Methods and Materials A retrospective review of patients with nonmetastatic IBC treated from January 1, 2000, through December 31, 2010, was performed. Locoregional control (LRC), disease-free survival (DFS), overall survival (OS) and predictors thereof were assessed. Results Fifty-two women with IBC were identified, 49 (94%) of whom were treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy. All underwent mastectomy followed by adjuvant radiation therapy. Radiation was delivered in once-daily fractions of 1.8 to 2.25 Gy (median, 2 Gy). Patients were typically treated with daily 1-cm bolus throughout treatment, and 33 (63%) received a subsequent boost to the mastectomy scar. Five-year Kaplan Meier survival estimates for LRC, DFS, and OS were 81%, 56%, and 64%, respectively. Locoregional recurrence was associated with poorer OS (P<.001; hazard ratio [HR], 4.1). Extracapsular extension was associated with worse LRC (P=.02), DFS (P=.007), and OS (P=.002). Age greater than 50 years was associated with better DFS (P=.03). Pathologic complete response was associated with a trend toward improved LRC (P=.06). Conclusions Once-daily radiation therapy with aggressive use of bolus for IBC results in outcomes consistent with previous reports using various intensified radiation therapy regimens. LRC remains a challenge despite modern systemic therapy. Extracapsular extension, age ≤50 years, and lack of complete response to chemotherapy appear to be associated with worse outcomes. Novel strategies are needed in IBC, particularly among these subsets of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)997-1003
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research

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