Health-related quality of life of early-stage breast cancer patients after different radiotherapy regimens

Daphne H. M. Jacobs*, Ramona K. Charaghvandi, Nanda Horeweg, John H. Maduro, Gabrielle Speijer, Ellen M. A. Roeloffzen, Mirjam Mast, Enja Bantema-Joppe, Anna L. Petoukhova, Desiree H. J. G. van den Bongard, Peter Koper, Anne P. G. Crijns, Corrie A. M. Marijnen, Helena M. Verkooijen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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PURPOSE: To evaluate and compare health-related quality of life (HRQL) of women with early-stage breast cancer (BC) treated with different radiotherapy (RT) regimens.

METHODS: Data were collected from five prospective cohorts of BC patients treated with breast-conserving surgery and different RT regimens: intraoperative RT (IORT, 1 × 23.3 Gy; n = 267), external beam accelerated partial breast irradiation (EB-APBI, 10 × 3.85 Gy; n = 206), hypofractionated whole breast irradiation(hypo-WBI, 16 × 2.67 Gy; n = 375), hypo-WBI + boost(hypo-WBI-B, 21-26 × 2.67 Gy; n = 189), and simultaneous WBI + boost(WBI-B, 28 × 2.3 Gy; n = 475). Women ≥ 60 years with invasive/in situ carcinoma ≤ 30 mm, cN0 and pN0-1a were included. Validated EORTC QLQ-C30/BR23 questionnaires were used to asses HRQL. Multivariable linear regression models adjusted for confounding (age, comorbidity, pT, locoregional treatment, systemic therapy) were used to compare the impact of the RT regimens on HRQL at 12 and 24 months. Differences in HRQL over time (3-24 months) were evaluated using linear mixed models.

RESULTS: There were no significant differences in HRQL at 12 months between groups except for breast symptoms which were better after IORT and EB-APBI compared to hypo-WBI at 12 months (p < 0.001). Over time, breast symptoms, fatigue, global health status and role functioning were significantly better after IORT and EB-APBI than hypo-WBI. At 24 months, HRQL was comparable in all groups.

CONCLUSION: In women with early-stage breast cancer, the radiotherapy regimen did not substantially influence long-term HRQL with the exception of breast symptoms. Breast symptoms are more common after WBI than after IORT or EB-APBI and improve slowly until no significant difference remains at 2 years posttreatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-398
Number of pages12
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number2
Early online date3-Jul-2021
Publication statusPublished - Sep-2021


  • Early-stage breast cancer
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation
  • Intraoperative radiotherapy

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