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World J Radiol. 2010 Mar 28;2(3):103-8. doi: 10.4329/wjr.v2.i3.103.

Recent advances in breast cancer radiotherapy: Evolution or revolution, or how to decrease cardiac toxicity?

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Youlia M Kirova, Radiation Oncology, Institut Curie 26, Rue d'Ulm, 75005 Paris, France.


Radiation therapy has a major role in the management of breast cancers. However, there is no consensus on how to irradiate and on volume definitions, and there are strong differences in strategies according to different centers and physicians. New treatment protocols and techniques have been used with the principal purpose of decreasing lung and heart toxicity and adapting radiation treatment to patients' anatomy. There is evidence that indicates internal mammary chain radiotherapy should be used carefully and that high quality techniques should be used for decreasing the dose delivered to the heart. This review of the literature presents the state of the art on breast cancer radiotherapy, with special focus on the indications, techniques, and potential toxicity.


Breast cancer; Cardiac toxicity; Chemotherapy; Ejection fraction; Herceptin; Radiotherapy

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