Comparison of radiation-induced fatigue across 3 different radiotherapeutic methods for early stage breast cancer

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Journal Article

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accelerated partial breast irradiation; breast cancer; fatigue; hypofractionation; whole breast irradiation


BACKGROUND: Radiation-induced fatigue is a common side effect of breast cancer radiotherapy (RT). This study compares the induction and persistence of radiation-induced fatigue in accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI), accelerated hypofractionated RT, and standard whole breast RT. METHODS: Eighty patients were treated with a novel, 3-week accelerated regimen with 333 centigrays (cGy) for 15 fractions to 4995 cGy; of these, 45 were treated using APBI, whereas 35 patients were treated using accelerated hypofractionated RT. These patients were matched with patients receiving 200 cGy for 30 fractions using standard whole breast irradiation. Fatigue score, using Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 4.0, was obtained at 5 time points: consultation before RT, first on-treatment visit, halfway through treatment, last on-treatment visit, and first follow-up. RESULTS: Maximum fatigue and average fatigue since treatment were calculated. Maximum fatigue was 1.5, 2.4, and 2.3, and average fatigue was 0.46, 0.81, and 0.92 for the APBI, accelerated hypofractionated RT, and standard whole breast RT groups, respectively. The accelerated schedules did not have significantly less fatigue than standard whole breast RT at first on-treatment visit. Maximum fatigue in APBI was reduced compared with standard whole breast RT. Accelerated hypofractionated RT had fatigue trajectory similar to standard whole breast RT. Multivariate analysis found that increased age and whole breast treatment are associated with more fatigue. Chemotherapy, hormone therapy, race, and T stage were not significant predictors of maximum fatigue. Results were similar for average fatigue, except that magnitudes were smaller. CONCLUSIONS: Field sizes and age in breast RT were positively associated with maximum radiation-induced fatigue. Accelerated hypofractionated RT and standard whole breast RT had similar fatigue trajectories compared with APBI, which reduced fatigue at all times. © 2011 American Cancer Society.

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