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Concurrent Radiation, Chemo Tolerated After Lumpectomy

-- Jeff Muise

Thursday, April 2, 2009

THURSDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- For women who have undergone lumpectomy, partial breast irradiation (PBI) and chemotherapy can be used concurrently without producing intolerable toxicities, according to a report published online March 30 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Richard C. Zellars, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore, and colleagues performed concurrent PBI and chemotherapy on 25 women who had a lumpectomy for stage I or II breast cancer (≥ 3 mm lumpectomy margins). The women received daily PBI during the first two of four chemotherapy cycles consisting of intravenous doxorubicin (60 mg/m2) and cyclophosphamide (600 mg/m2) every 14 days.

All 25 patients completed the PBI and at least three of the four chemotherapy cycles, with 21 completing all four cycles, the researchers report. Hematologic toxicity included grade 3 and 4 absolute neutrophil count toxicity in four of the 25 women. There was no incidence of grade 3 or 4 thrombocytopenia or anemia. The non-hematologic toxicities included nausea and vomiting (three women), stomatitis (two), fatigue (one), bronchospasms (one) and contralateral breast abscess (one). Twenty-one patients exhibited grade 1 radiation dermatitis, the authors note.

"Our trial shows that anthracyclines and PBI can be administered concurrently without acute toxicity. However, verification in a larger trial and longer follow-up are necessary to determine the ultimate cosmetic outcome and late toxicity profile," the authors write.

Two of the study authors reported receiving research funding from Abraxis Bioscience, Inc, and Roche Pharmaceuticals.

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Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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