Radiation Oncology Group
EORTC 22881/10882 – Phase III study in the conservative management of breast carcinoma by tumorectomy and radiotherapy: assessment of the role of a booster dose of radiotherapy.
Joint study of the EORTC Radiotherapy Cooperative Group and the EORTC Breast Cancer Cooperative Group
Since the introduction of breast-conserving treatment, various radiation doses after lumpectomy have been used. This EORTC study investigated the effect of additional radiation (radiation ‘boost’) on overall survival, local control, fibrosis (development of scar tissue) in patients with stage I and II breast cancer who underwent breast conserving therapy. After surgery and primary radiation, patients were assigned to received a radiation boost or no boost. In this 20 year follow up, results showed that a radiation boost after whole-breast irradiation, has no effect on long-term overall survival of the patient, but can improve local control, with the largest absolute benefit in young patients, although it increases the risk of moderate to severe fibrosis. In addition, it was advised that extra radiation should and can be avoided in most patients older that 60 years.