News | October 29, 2014

Chest Radiation Therapy for Children Increases Their Risk of Breast Cancer

Wilms tumor survivors treated with radiation therapy have an increased for breast cancer

Oct. 29, 2014 — A new study has found that patients who received chest radiation for Wilms tumor, a rare childhood cancer, face an increased risk of developing breast cancer later in life due to their radiation exposure.

Published early online in CANCER, the findings suggest that cancer screening guidelines might be re-evaluated to facilitate the early diagnosis and prompt treatment of breast cancer among Wilms tumor survivors.

Wilms tumor is a rare childhood kidney cancer that can spread to the lungs. When this spread occurs, patients receive a relatively low dose of 12-14 Gray of radiation therapy to the entire chest. To see if such exposure to radiation affects patients' risk of developing breast cancer, Norman Breslow, Ph.D., of the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, led a team that studied nearly 2,500 young women who had been treated for Wilms tumor during childhood and who had survived until at least 15 years of age.

Of female Wilms tumor survivors who received radiation to the chest, over 20 percent developed breast cancer by age 40 years (3/4 invasive, 1/4 non-invasive), in contrast to only 0.3 percent in female Wilms tumor survivors who did not receive radiation. The researchers also found an intermediate risk (4 percent) of breast cancer among female Wilms tumor patients who had received abdominal but no chest radiation as part of their treatment for Wilms tumor.

The rates for females receiving chest irradiation, abdominal radiation and no radiation are nearly 30, six and two times those expected among women of comparable age in the general population. This high incidence of breast cancer, including invasive cancer, was an unexpected finding.

"Current guidelines call for early screening for breast cancer among survivors of childhood cancer if they have received 20 or more Gray of radiation therapy to breast tissue. This would exclude a large majority of patients who had received whole chest radiation for Wilms tumor," said Breslow. "Our results suggest that the risk of early breast cancer among Wilms tumor survivors is sufficiently high that early screening might be considered an option for them also."

In an accompanying editorial, Jennifer Dean, M.D. and Jeffrey Dome, M.D., Ph.D., of Children's National Health System in Washington, D.C., noted that Wilms tumor survivors at high risk should undergo breast cancer surveillance with mammogram, breast MRI or both starting at age 25-years-old.

They referenced research indicating that less than half of childhood cancer survivors considered to have a high risk for breast cancer follow through with surveillance guidelines. "Because compliance with breast cancer surveillance is low in adult survivors of childhood cancer, barriers such as education of both survivors and providers should be addressed and mitigated," they wrote.

For more information: www.wiley.com

Related Content

RayCare Oncology Information System Being Shown at ASTRO 2017
News | Radiation Therapy | September 20, 2017
RaySearch will be exhibiting its next-generation oncology information system (OIS) RayCare, among other highlights, at...
ProCure Proton Therapy Center New Jersey Celebrates Five-Year Cancer-Free Milestone for Prostate Cancer Patients
News | Proton Therapy | September 20, 2017
ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Somerset, N.J., recently celebrated the five-year cancer-free milestone for the first...
Varian to Showcase Latest Radiation Therapy Technologies and Software at ASTRO 2017
News | Radiation Therapy | September 19, 2017
Varian Medical Systems announced it will be demonstrating its new Halcyon platform and HyperArc high-definition...
Elekta to Highlight MOSAIQ Oncology Analytics at ASTRO Annual Meeting
News | Radiation Therapy | September 19, 2017
September 19, 2017 — Elekta will highlight its Mosaiq Oncology...
Theraclion to Launch Metastatic Breast Cancer Trial Combining Echotherapy and Immunotherapy
News | Focused Ultrasound Therapy | September 18, 2017
September 18, 2017 — Theraclion and co-lead investigator David Brenin, M.D., from the University of Virginia School o
Double Targeting Ligands to Identify and Treat Prostate Cancer

The mice were imaged with small-animal PET/CT using 124I-RPS-027 (7.4 MBq [200 μCi]). Credit: JM Kelly et al., Department of Radiology, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY

News | Prostate Cancer | September 14, 2017
Researchers have demonstrated a new, effective way to precisely identify and localize prostate cancer tumors while...
Clinical Trials and Cutting-Edge Radiation Oncology Research to Be Featured at ASTRO 2017
News | Radiation Therapy | September 14, 2017
The program for the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), Sept. 24-27 in San...
Blue Earth Diagnostics Announcing Results of FALCON PET/CT Trial at ASTRO 2017
News | PET-CT | September 13, 2017
September 13, 2017 — Blue Earth Diagnostics announced the upcoming oral presentation of initial results from the FALC
DenseBreast-info.org Debuts  Spanish Language Video  About Dense Breasts
News | Breast Density | September 12, 2017
Breast cancer risks associated with breast density are the subject of a new Spanish language video launched recently by...
Overlay Init