Clinical

BJC Open article

British Journal of Cancer (2004) 91, 1251–1260. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6602146 www.bjcancer.com
Published online 24 August 2004

Concomitant use of tamoxifen with radiotherapy enhances subcutaneous breast fibrosis in hypersensitive patients

D Azria1,2, S Gourgou3, W J Sozzi4, A Zouhair4, R O Mirimanoff4, A Kramar3, C Lemanski1, J B Dubois1,2, G Romieu5, A Pelegrin2 and M Ozsahin4

  1. 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Centre Régional de Lutte contre le Cancer, Rue Croix Verte, 34298 Montpellier, France
  2. 2EMI 0227, Centre Régional de Lutte contre le Cancer, Rue Croix Verte, 34298 Montpellier, France
  3. 3Biostatistics Unit, Centre Régional de Lutte contre le Cancer, Rue Croix Verte, 34298 Montpellier, France
  4. 4Department of Radiation Oncology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Rue Bugnon, Lausanne, Switzerland
  5. 5Department of Medical Oncology, Centre Régional de Lutte contre le Cancer, Rue Croix Verte, 34298 Montpellier, France

Correspondence: Dr D Azria, Department of Radiation Oncology, CRLC Val d'Aurelle, rue Croix Verte, 34298 Montpellier Cedex 5, France. E-mail: azria@valdorel.fnclcc.fr

Received 20 April 2004; Revised 1 July 2004; Accepted 19 July 2004
Advance online publication 24 August 2004

Presented in part at the 26th Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, San Antonio, 3–6 December, 2003

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Abstract

Concomitant use of adjuvant tamoxifen (TAM) and radiation therapy (RT) is not widely accepted. We aim to assess whether this treatment is associated with an increased risk of developing subcutaneous fibrosis after conservative or radical surgery in breast cancer patients. We analysed 147 women with breast cancer treated with adjuvant RT, and who were included in the KFS 00539-9-1997/SKL 00778-2-1999 prospective study aimed at evaluating the predictive value of CD4 and CD8 T-lymphocyte apoptosis for the development of radiation-induced late effects. TAM (20mgday−1) with concomitant RT was prescribed in 90 hormone receptor-positive patients. There was a statistically significant difference in terms of complication-relapse-free survival (CRFS) rates at 3 years, 48% (95% CI 37.2–57.6%) vs 66% (95% CI 49.9–78.6%) and complication-free survival (CFS) rates at 2 years, 51% (95% CI 40–61%) vs 80% (95% CI 67–89%) in the TAM and no-TAM groups, respectively. In each of these groups, the CRFS rates were significantly lower for patients with low levels of CD8 radiation-induced apoptosis, 20% (95% CI 10–31.9%), 66% (95% CI 51.1–77.6%), and 79% (95% CI 55–90.9%) for CD8 less than or equal to16, 16–24, and >24%, respectively. Similar results were observed for the CFS rates. The concomitant use of TAM with RT is significantly associated with an increased incidence of grade 2 or greater subcutaneous fibrosis; therefore, caution is needed for radiosensitive patients.

Keywords:

subcutaneous fibrosis; breast cancer; tamoxifen; radiotherapy; hypersensitive patients

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