The NI Cancer Trials Network at Belfast Trust was one of several centres in the UK involved in the FAST-Forward study of radiotherapy for women following surgery for early breast cancer.
Between 2011 and 2014 over 4000 participants were randomly assigned to one of 3 arms:
- 40Gy in 15 fractions (over 3 weeks – standard of care)
- 27Gy in 5 fractions (over 1 week)
- 26Gy in 5 fractions (over 1 week)
Five-year results are now published in the Lancet revealing a one-week course of radiotherapy in fewer but larger doses is as safe and effective as the standard three-week therapy. Researchers have already seen a change in practice, reducing hospital visits for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as reducing demands on the health service. Read more here.
Massive thanks to the staff and patients in Northern Ireland for their contribution to this study.