Background: Breast cancer recurrences in previously irradiated areas are treated with reirradiation (reRT) and hyperthermia (HT). The aim of this retrospective study is to quantify the toxicity of HT in breast cancer patients with reconstruction.
Methods: Between 1992 and 2009, 36 patients were treated with reRT with a scheme of 8 fractions of 4.0 Gy in 4 weeks, and HT on a total of 37 tissue reconstructions. The types of reconstructions were: split-thickness skin graft (15), transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap (1), latissimus dorsi flap (14), rhomboid flap (1) or a combination of grafts and flaps (6). Toxicities were graded according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE), version 3.0. Patient, tumour, and treatment characteristics predictive for the endpoints were identified in univariate and multivariate analyses. The primary endpoint was HT toxicity. Secondary endpoints were acute and late radiotherapy (RT) toxicity, complete response (CR), local control (LC) and overall survival (OS).
Results: The median follow-up time was 64 months. Grade 2 HT toxicity occurred in four patients and grade 3 in three. The three patients with grade 3 HT toxicity required reoperation. None of the evaluated parameters showed a significant relationship with HT toxicity. The CR rate in 15 patients with macroscopic disease was 80%. The 3 and 5 year LC rates were 74% and 69%; the median OS was 55 months.
Conclusions: Combined reRT and HT in breast cancer patients with reconstruction is safe and effective.