Jagsi R, Griffith KA, Vicini F, Boike T, Burmeister J, Dominello MM, Grills I, Hayman JA, Moran JM, Paximadis P, Radawski JD, Walker EM, and Pierce LJ. Toward Improving Patients' Experiences of Acute Toxicity From Breast Radiotherapy: Insights From the Analysis of Patient-Reported Outcomes in a Large Multicenter Cohort. J Clin Oncol 2020; 38(34):4019-4029.
Journal of clinical oncology
PURPOSE: Understanding acute toxicities after whole-breast radiotherapy is important to inform patients, guide treatment decisions, and target supportive care. We evaluated patient-reported outcomes prospectively collected from a cohort of patients with breast cancer.
METHODS: We describe the maximal toxicity reported by 8,711 patients treated between 2012 and 2019 at 27 practices. Multivariable models identified characteristics associated with (1) breast pain, (2) bother from itching, stinging/burning, swelling, or hurting of the treated breast, and (3) fatigue within 7 days of completing whole-breast radiotherapy.
RESULTS: Moderate or severe breast pain was reported by 3,233 (37.1%): 1,282 (28.9%) of those receiving hypofractionation and 1,951 (45.7%) of those receiving conventional fractionation. Frequent bother from at least one breast symptom was reported by 4,424 (50.8%): 1,833 (41.3%) after hypofractionation and 2,591 (60.7%) after conventional fractionation. Severe fatigue was reported by 2,008 (23.1%): 843 (19.0%) after hypofractionation and 1,165 (27.3%) after conventional fractionation. Among patients receiving hypofractionated radiotherapy, younger age (P < .001), higher body mass index (BMI; P < .001), Black (P < .001) or other race (P = .002), smoking status (P < .001), larger breast volume (P = .002), lack of chemotherapy receipt (P = .004), receipt of boost treatment (P < .001), and treatment at a nonteaching center predicted breast pain. Among patients receiving conventionally fractionated radiotherapy, younger age (P < .001), higher BMI (P = .003), Black (P < .001) or other race (P = .002), diabetes (P = .001), smoking status (P < .001), and larger breast volume (P < .001) predicted breast pain.
CONCLUSION: In this large observational data set, substantial differences existed according to radiotherapy dose fractionation. Race-related differences in pain existed despite controlling for multiple other factors; additional research is needed to understand what drives these differences to target potentially modifiable factors. Intensifying supportive care may be appropriate for subgroups identified as being vulnerable to greater toxicity.