Timing of Radiation and Chemotherapy with Breast Cancer
Last Modified: November 1, 2001
Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
In patients with node negative breast cancer undergoing radiation therapy after lumpectomy, what is the best timing for radiation therapy with respect to chemotherapy (such as eight 3 week cycles of CMF)?
The optimal timing of radiation therapy and chemotherapy under such circumstances is unclear. There are, however, four options;
- Radiation therapy followed by chemotherapy.
- Chemotherapy followed by radiation therapy.
- Radiation therapy concurrently with cyclophosphamide and 5-FU chemotherapy followed by chemotherapy.
- Chemotherapy, then radiation therapy, then chemotherapy again (i.e. "sandwich").
- Overmoyer, B., Fowble, B., Solin L., Goldstein, L., Glick, J.: The long term results of conservative surgery and radiation with concurrent chemotherapy for early stage breast cancer. (Abstract). Proceedings of the American Society of Clinical Oncology 11:90, 1992.
- Fowble, B., Solin, L.J., Schultz, D.J., Goodman, R.L.: Ten year results of conservative surgery and irradiation for stage I and II breast cancer. International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, 21:269-277, 1991