Combined wIRA-Hyperthermia and Hypofractionated Re-Irradiation in the Treatment of Locally Recurrent Breast Cancer: Evaluation of Therapeutic Outcome Based on a Novel Size Classification

PMID: 32155740
Journal: Cancers (volume: 12, issue: 3, Cancers (Basel) 2020 Mar;12(3))
Published: 2020-03-06

Notter M, Thomsen AR, Nitsche M, Hermann RM, Wolff HA, Habl G, Münch K, Grosu AL, Vaupel P


Effective tumor control in patients suffering from unresectable locally recurrent breast cancer (LRBC) in pre-irradiated areas can be achieved by re-irradiation combined with superficial hyperthermia. Using this combined modality, total re-irradiation dose and toxicity can be significantly reduced compared to conventionally fractionated treatment schedules with total doses of 60-66 Gy. Applying contact-free, thermography-controlled water-filtered infrared-A superficial hyperthermia, immediately followed by hypofractionated re-irradiation, consisting of 4 Gy once per week up to a total dose of 20 Gy, resulted in high overall response rates even in large-sized tumors. Comparability of clinical data between different combined Hyperthermia (HT)/Radiotherapy (RT) treatment schedules is impeded by the highly individual characteristics of this disease. Tumor size, ranging from microscopic disease and small lesions to large-sized cancer en cuirasse, is described as one of the most important prognostic factors. However, in clinical studies and analyses of LRBC, tumor size has so far been reported in a very heterogeneous way. Therefore, we suggest a novel, simple and feasible size classification (rClasses 0-IV). Applying this classification for the evaluation of 201 patients with pre-irradiated LRBC allowed for a stratification into distinct prognostic groups.