Treatment of Breast and Prostate Cancer by Hypofractionated Radiotherapy: Potential Risks and Benefits

K. J. Ray, N. R. Sibson, A. E. Kiltie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Breast cancer and prostate cancer are the most common cancers diagnosed in women and men, respectively, in the UK, and radiotherapy is used extensively in the treatment of both. Invitro data suggest that tumours in the breast and prostate have unique properties that make a hypofractionated radiotherapy treatment schedule advantageous in terms of therapeutic index. Many clinical trials of hypofractionated radiotherapy treatment schedules have been completed to establish the extent to which hypofractionation can improve patient outcome. Here we present a concise description of hypofractionation, the mathematical description of converting between conventional and hypofractionated schedules, and the motivation for using hypofractionation in the treatment of breast and prostate cancer. Furthermore, we summarise the results of important recent hypofractionation trials and highlight the limitations of a hypofractionated treatment regimen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-426
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Oncology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
KJR is funded by a Medical Research Council ( MC_ST_U13080 ) studentship; NRS and AEK are funded by Cancer Research UK Core Grant C5255/A15935 .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 The Royal College of Radiologists.


  • Breast cancer
  • Clinical trials
  • Hypofractionation
  • Prostate cancer
  • Radiotherapy
  • α/βratio


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