Adoption of Intensity modulated radiation therapy for early-stage breast cancer from 2004 through 2011

Elyn H. Wang, Sarah S. Mougalian, Pamela R. Soulos, Benjamin D. Smith, Bruce G. Haffty, Cary P. Gross, James B. Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Purpose: Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is a newer method of radiation therapy (RT) that has been increasingly adopted as an adjuvant treatment after breast-conserving surgery (BCS). IMRT may result in improved cosmesis compared to standard RT, although at greater expense. To investigate the adoption of IMRT, we examined trends and factors associated with IMRT in women under the age of 65 with early stage breast cancer. Methods and Materials: We performed a retrospective study of early stage breast cancer patients treated with BCS followed by whole-breast irradiation (WBI) who were <65 years old in the National Cancer Data Base from 2004 to 2011. We used logistic regression to identify factors associated with receipt of IMRT (vs standard RT). Results: We identified 11,089 women with early breast cancer (9.6%) who were treated with IMRT and 104,448 (90.4%) who were treated with standard RT, after BCS. The proportion of WBI patients receiving IMRT increased yearly from 2004 to 2009, with 5.3% of WBI patients receiving IMRT in 2004 and 11.6% receiving IMRT in 2009. Further use of IMRT declined afterward, with the proportion remaining steady at 11.0% and 10.7% in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Patients treated in nonacademic community centers were more likely to receive IMRT (odds ratio [OR], 1.36; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.30-1.43 for nonacademic vs academic center). Compared to privately insured patients, the uninsured patients (OR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.70-0.95) and those with Medicaid insurance (OR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.79-0.95) were less likely to receive IMRT. Conclusions: The use of IMRT rose from 2004 to 2009 and then stabilized. Important nonclinical factors associated with IMRT use included facility type and insurance status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-311
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research

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