Developing radiotherapy for breast cancer patients in COVID-19 era

2020 03 17 03 30 8540 Virus Coronavirus3 400

Researchers in Leeds, U.K., who led a five-year study on the efficacy and late-normal tissue effects of hypofractionated radiotherapy for breast cancer patients have praised the speed at which the treatment was implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Advanced practitioners Julie Wood and Helen Dring described in a statement from the Society of Radiographers how their team quickly implemented the novel treatment three days after trial results supporting the change were published.

The trial looked at the efficacy and late normal tissue effects of hypofractionated radiotherapy and compared three weeks of treatment with just one. The results, published on 20 April 2020, showed that giving 26 Gy in five fractions over one week is not inferior to the previous U.K. standard treatment of 40 Gy in 15 fractions over three weeks.

The new regimen was implemented quickly to reduce hospital visits for these patients during the COVID-19 pandemic from 15 to five. Normally, implementing a new treatment in the National Health Service (NHS) would have taken months, the release said.

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