Optimal Sequence of Implied Modalities in the Adjuvant Setting of Breast Cancer Treatment: An Update on Issues To Consider

Tsoutsou P. G. , Belkacemi Y., Gligorov J., Kuten A., Boussen H., Bese N. , ...More

ONCOLOGIST, vol.15, no.11, pp.1169-1178, 2010 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 15 Issue: 11
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.1634/theoncologist.2010-0187
  • Title of Journal : ONCOLOGIST
  • Page Numbers: pp.1169-1178


The adjuvant setting of early breast cancer treatment is an evolving field where different modalities must be combined to improve outcomes; moreover, quality of life of breast cancer survivors emerges as a new important parameter to consider, thus implying a better understanding of toxicities of these modalities. We have conducted a review focusing on the latest literature of the past 3 years, trying to evaluate the existing data on the maximum acceptable delay of radiotherapy when given as sole adjuvant treatment after surgery and the optimal sequence of all these modalities with respect to each other. It becomes evident radiotherapy should be given as soon as possible and within a time frame of 6-20 weeks. Chemotherapy is given before radiotherapy and hormone therapy. However, radiotherapy should be started within 7 months after surgery in these cases. Hormone therapy with tamoxifen might be given safely concomitantly or sequentially with radiotherapy although solid data are still lacking. The concurrent administration of letrozole and radiotherapy seems to be safe, whereas data on trastuzumab can imply only that it is safe to use concurrently with radiotherapy. Randomized comparisons of hormone therapy and trastuzumab administration with radiotherapy need to be performed. The Oncologist 2010;15:1169-1178