Cambridge intensity modulated radiotherapy (imrt) trial for early breast cancer confirms superior cosmesis

The use of intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) in early breast cancer allows an even distribution of the radiotherapy dose to be delivered to the entire breast target. The use of IMRT is designed to reduce the complications from breast radiotherapy and the interim 2-year results from the Cambridge IMRT showed a significant reduction in telangectasia (spider veins just under the skin) compared to conventional radiotherapy.

The 5-year results from the Cambridge randomised IMRT were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in December 20131 and have confirmed the reduction in spider veins with conventional radiotherapy. The 5-year results also showed that patients treated by IMRT had superior overall cosmesis or appearance of the breast. These results represent a major development in radiotherapy for early breast cancer and will encourage breast units to abandon conventional two-dimensional radiotherapy in favour of simple IMRT. Surgical input to the Cambridge IMRT trial was provided by Professor Gordon Wishart.

1. Mukesh MB, Barnett G, Wilkinson JS, Moody AM, Wilson C, Dorling L, Kak CCW, Quian W, Twyman N, Burnet NG, Wishart GC, Coles C. A randomised controlled trial of Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) for early breast cancer: 5-year results confirm superior overall cosmesis. J Clin Oncol 2013; 31: 4488-4495.