Bruce G Haffty, MD, professor and chair, department of radiation oncology, Rutgers Cancer Institute (NJ), and colleagues conducted a prospective analysis of short course post-mastectomy radiation therapy, in which therapy was completed in 3 weeks, rather than 5 to 6 weeks. Researchers sampled 67 patients from 2010 to 2014 with stage 3 to 3a breast cancer. Patients were given 11 fractions (3.33 Gy) in 11 days over a 3-week period. The treatment also allowed for an optional 4 fractions to the chest wall at the mastectomy scar area, resulting in a total of 15 treatments over 3 weeks. The primary endpoint was freedom from any grade 3 or higher toxicities.
After a median follow-up of 32 months, there were no reported grade 3 toxicities and 29 reported grade 2 toxicities, with a majority being skin rash followed by fatigue. Three-year estimated local recurrence-free survival was 89.2% (95% CI, 0.75-0.96) and 3-year estimated distant recurrence-free survival was 90.3% (95% CI, 0.80-0.96)