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Radiology Today
E-Newsletter    October 2023
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Editor's E-Note
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and a study presented at the ASTRO conference offers some promising news. The study found that short-course, higher-dose radiation therapy was as effective as standard treatment in preventing breast cancer recurrence for women who underwent breast reconstruction after mastectomy. In addition to fewer side effects, the accelerated therapy saved time and money, and showed a slight improvement in patients' quality of life. Get all of the details in our E-News Exclusive.

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— Dave Yeager, editor
In This E-Newsletter


Radiology Today Live Webinar | Complimentary Category A CE Credit Webinar | MRI Accidents & Preventions: Regulation & Accreditation | November 7, 2023, 1 PM ET | Special Thank You to all Radiologic Technologists during National Radiologic Technology Week® ARRT Category A CE credit is pending approval by the AHRA for this webinar. Sponsored by Guerbet | Register Now: https://goto.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1638850&tp_key=55ec996b8b Radiology Today Live Webinar | Complimentary Category A CE Credit Webinar | Next Generation MRI Contrast Agents: Application to Clinical Management and Workflow | November 9, 2023, 1 PM ET | Special Thank You to all Radiologic Technologists during National Radiologic Technology Week® ARRT Category A CE credit is pending approval by the AHRA for this webinar. Sponsored by Guerbet | Register Now: https://goto.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1639034&tp_key=0c34cbab32
E-News Exclusive

MTMI | Staff Shortages, Overtime Charges, Agency Costs And No End in Sight... | Learn More: https://www.mtmi.net/maximizeroi?utm_source=rad_today&utm_medium=banner_ad&utm_campaign=cross_trng_oct23

Short-Course Radiation Effective for Patients Who Opt for Breast Reconstruction

In a first-of-its-kind study, people with breast cancer who underwent implant-based breast reconstruction immediately following a mastectomy reported that getting fewer, higher doses of radiation was just as effective as standard radiation, did not increase side effects, and saved them time and money. There also was a small improvement in quality of life for women under 45 who received the shortened treatment regimen.

The FABREC study is the first prospective randomized study comparing quality of life and clinical outcomes following accelerated vs conventional radiation therapy, specifically for patients with postmastectomy implant- or tissue-based breast reconstruction. Findings were presented at the ASTRO annual meeting.


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“Both the accelerated and standard courses of treatment were equally effective at preventing the cancer from returning and had the same level of side effects. But with shortening the treatment from five weeks to three, patients experienced fewer treatment disruptions, a lower financial burden, and other meaningful improvements to their lives,” says senior study author Rinaa Punglia, MD, MPH, FASTRO, an associate professor of radiation oncology at Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center in Boston.

Breast cancer is the second most diagnosed cancer among women in the United States. About 40% of people with breast cancer have mastectomies and, of that group, 62% undergo immediate reconstruction. Reconstruction using tissue expanders or breast implants has grown in popularity in recent years.

Roughly one-third of patients who get mastectomies also need radiation therapy to the chest wall and lymph nodes to help prevent their cancer from returning. While standard radiation therapy generally occurs over a period of five weeks, research has shown a shorter course of treatment can be just as effective at preventing the cancer from returning in women who have undergone breast-conserving surgery. Prior research also shows the shorter regimen does not increase side effects and can improve quality of life for these patients.


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FABREC is the first study to compare the shorter and longer courses of postmastectomy radiation specifically for people who had their breasts reconstructed immediately following mastectomy. Investigators also compared results for people under 45 years old with those 45 and older.

“Our main goal was to look at patient-reported outcomes, especially in terms of patient well-being,” says lead study author Julia Wong, MD, FASTRO, also an associate professor of radiation oncology at Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center. “We often focus on cancer outcomes, but there are a lot of quality of life issues involved in having a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, a combination a lot of patients are now choosing. We have to look at how these treatments affect patients.”



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Other Imaging News

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Liquid Biopsies Reveal Cervical Cancer Recurrence Risk
Findings presented at the ASTRO annual meeting revealed that specific liquid biopsy tests can accurately determine cervical cancer recurrence risk in patients postchemoradiation.

Assistive Technology Predicts Radiation Impact on Healthy Organs
Assistive technology can predict the movement of healthy organs during radiotherapy, minimizing the risk of adverse radiation effects, according to a study from the University of Tsukuba.

Preclinical Data Demonstrate Potential Cure for Lethal Ovarian Cancer
A lethal form of ovarian cancer has been cured in preclinical settings with a new radioimmunotherapy system that shows few side effects.
Worth Repeating
“One of the challenge[s] in breast cancer is that the tumors often have little arms or little tendrils that come out from them. … MRI is our most sensitive test for looking at breast tissue, so it gives us the advantage of being able to target tumors more accurately and precisely.”

— Cindy B. Matsen, MD, a fellowship trained breast surgeon at the University of Utah, Huntsman Cancer Institute, discussing a new ultrasound system that targets and destroys breast cancer tumors


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Current Issue
Help or Hindrance?
AI has demonstrated effectiveness in reading mammograms, but more data are necessary before it receives endorsement within the field.

Center Stage
A partnership with GE Healthcare has propelled St. Joseph’s Health Care London and the Lawson Health Research Institute in Ontario, Canada, forward, bringing state-of-the-art, personalized care to patients.

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