A new American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) guideline calls for hypofractionated whole breast irradiation (HF-WBI) for patients with breast cancer regardless of age, tumor stage, and previous chemotherapy treatment.
The update from a 2011 guideline also recommends that patients be encouraged to play a larger role in the choice of HF-WBI, observing that HF-WBI has not been widely adopted despite delivering results that are comparable to and more convenient than longer courses of radiotherapy.
“Hypofractionated radiation therapy offers patients a more convenient and lower-cost option for their treatment” without increasing the likelihood that their cancer will return or their risk of adverse effects, Reshma Jagsi, MD, DPhil, IHPI member, co-chair of the task force and a professor of radiation oncology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, said in a statement. “A shorter course of radiation equates to more time with family, less time away from work, and lower treatment costs. We hope that this guideline encourages providers to counsel their patients on options including hypofractionation.”