How should radiation be done for inflammatory breast cancer patients?-a narrative review of modern literature

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Objective: This review highlights the considerations of the radiation oncologist when managing patients with inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) as well as the radiation oncologist's role as a member of the multi-disciplinary team. Background: IBC makes up only 1-4% of all breast cancer diagnoses but incidence is increasing. IBC is diagnosed based on a constellation of clinical features, including the rapid onset of breast erythema and edema (peau d'orange) of one-third or more of the skin of the breast and with a palpable border to the edema. Most published IBC local-regional control rates are consistently lower than those observed in non-IBC, which the highlights the need for deliberate treatment techniques to maximize clinical outcomes. Methods: For this narrative review, we discuss the principles of radiation target delineation and dose escalation; highlight new findings in the local-regional management of IBC; provide a critical evaluation of the recent literature evaluating local-regional treatment of IBC; and offer a brief introduction to possible future directions regarding the optimal treatment and management of IBC based on our institutional experience. Conclusions: IBC is an aggressive type of breast cancer that warrants multi-disciplinary care from breast surgical, medical, and radiation oncology. Several strategies exist to enhance the effect of radiation therapy (RT) on local-regional control, including hyperfractionation, use of bolus, increased total RT dose, and radiosensitizers, which are currently being tested in randomized trials. With an individualized patient approach, local-regional control rates are improving for IBC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number86283
JournalChinese clinical oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Inflammatory breast cancer
  • breast cancer
  • post-mastectomy
  • radiation therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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