Radiotherapy for Breast Cancer: How Can it Benefit from Advancing Technology?

*Tomas Kron,1,2 Boon Chua2,3

1. Department of Physical Sciences, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Australia
2. Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
3. Department of Radiation Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Australia
*Correspondence to

Disclosure: No potential conflict of interest.
Received: 30.04.14 Accepted: 24.07.14
Citation: EMJ Oncol. 2014;2:83-90.


There have been significant technological and technical advances in radiotherapy over the last 20 years. This paper presents the pertinent advances and examines their application in contemporary breast cancer (BC) radiotherapy, particularly for reducing the long-term toxicity, using intensity-modulated radiation therapy, image-guided radiation therapy, and management of breathing motion. These modern technologies and techniques enable precise delivery of a highly conformal radiation dose distribution to the target volume in real-time, to optimise tumour control, and minimise treatment toxicity. They have been used for the treatment of BC in selected centres around the world. Although there is insufficient high-level evidence to support their routine application in BC at present, implementation of these technologies has been shown to be feasible, and could result in clinically meaningful long-term benefits for selected patients with BC.

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