K Venables, Y Tsang, L Ciurlionis, CE Coles, JR Yarnold
Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol)
AIMS: To examine the effect of UK breast radiotherapy trials on the adoption of new radiotherapy techniques over the last 15 years. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The data were taken from questionnaires returned to the national radiotherapy quality assurance team for each of the major trials (START, Supremo, FAST, IMPORT) with additional information sought from heads of radiotherapy physics departments where needed. RESULTS: The peak years for the introduction of three-dimensional radiotherapy corresponded to the opening of new trials requiring these techniques. Some non-trial centres had still not implemented three-dimensional techniques for breast cancer patients at the time the most recent questionnaire was completed (2009). CONCLUSION: Clinical trials provide the framework and impetus for introducing more accurate radiotherapy for UK women with early breast cancer.