CE Coles, AM Brunt, D Wheatley, MB Mukesh, JR Yarnold
Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol)
A 3 week schedule of whole breast radiotherapy is firmly established in the UK and is becoming more accepted internationally, especially as accelerated partial breast radiotherapy regimens become more common. It seems that a 3 week schedule is unlikely to be the lower limit of whole breast hypofractionation and the partial breast may even be adequately treated with just a single treatment. It is, however, essential that these hypotheses are rigorously tested within well-designed trials to ensure the highest quality of radiotherapy. This overview will address the rationale for hypofractionation in breast cancer, discuss past trials and outline the design of current studies.