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expert reaction to study on single dose radiotherapy for breast cancer

A study, published in The BMJ*, has looked at long-term survival of breast cancer patients undergoing single dose radiotherapy.


Joanne Haviland, Principal Statistician, The Institute of Cancer Research, who works in breast cancer radiotherapy clinical trials, said:

“The TARGIT-A trial has generated considerable discussion among the radiation oncology research community. We welcome the publication of complete five-year follow-up data from patients randomised before surgery within the trial, but unfortunately these findings do not help to overcome the longstanding concerns around the methodological and analytical weaknesses in the trial that undermine its results. There are a number of important differences from the previous publications that must be considered when interpreting the data that will generate further scientific debate. Conventional radiotherapy has evolved considerably since the design of the TARGIT-A trial, including shorter treatment schedules and smaller volumes of breast treated, with greatly improved patient experience, and extremely high levels of clinical cure at very low cost to the NHS.”



* ‘Long term survival and local control outcomes from single dose targeted intraoperative radiotherapy during lumpectomy (TARGIT-IORT) for early breast cancer: TARGIT-A randomised clinical trial’ by Vaidya et al. was published in The BMJ on Wednesday 19 August.


DOI: 10.1136/bmj.m2836


Declared interests

No conflicts of interest.

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