Reirradiation for Locoregional Recurrent Breast Cancer

Sayeh Fattahi, Safia K. Ahmed, Sean S. Park, Ivy A. Petersen, Dean A. Shumway, Bradley J. Stish, Elizabeth S. Yan, Nicholas B. Remmes, Robert W. Mutter, Kimberly S. Corbin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Reirradiation poses a distinct therapeutic challenge owing to risks associated with exceeding normal tissue tolerances and possibly more therapeutically resistant disease biology. We report our experience with reirradiation for locoregional recurrent or second primary breast cancer. Methods and Materials: Between 1999 and 2019, all patients with breast cancer treated with repeat breast/chest wall radiation therapy (RT) at our institution were identified. Adverse events were assessed using the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events v5.0. Fisher exact, Mann-Whitney rank-sum, and unpaired t tests were used for statistical analysis. Freedom from locoregional recurrence and distant metastasis as well as overall survival were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Results: Seventy-two patients underwent reirradiation. Median prior RT dose, reirradiation dose, and cumulative dose were 60 Gy (interquartile range [IQR], 50-60.4 Gy), 45 Gy (IQR, 40-50 Gy), and 103.54 Gy2 (IQR, 95.04-109.62 Gy2), respectively. Median time between RT courses was 73 months (IQR, 29-129 months). Thirty-four patients (47%) had gross residual disease at time of reirradiation. Course intent was described as curative in 44 patients (61%) and palliative in 28 (39%). Fifty-two patients (72%) were treated with photons ± electrons and 20 (28%) with protons. With a median follow-up of 22 months (IQR, 10-43 months), grade 3 adverse events were experienced by 13% of patients (10% acute skin toxicity and 3% late skin necrosis). Time between RT courses and reirradiation fields was significantly associated with the development of grade 3 toxicity at any point. Proton therapy conferred a dosimetric advantage without difference in toxicity. At 2 years, locoregional recurrence-free survival was 74.6% and overall survival was 65.5% among all patients, and 93.1% and 76.8%, respectively, among curative intent patients treated without gross disease. Distant metastasis-free survival was 59.0% among all curative intent patients. Conclusions: Reirradiation for locoregional recurrent breast cancer is feasible with acceptable rates of toxicity. Disease control and survival are promising among curative intent reirradiation patients without gross disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100640
JournalAdvances in Radiation Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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