About this Research Topic
The recognition of breast cancer heterogeneity and its implementation into clinical practice has led to the personalization of systemic treatments and improved outcomes, but has not been introduced into radiotherapy decision making. Evidence suggests, however, that the distinct breast cancer subtypes are associated with differential profiles of locoregional recurrence and potentially distinct radiosensitivity properties, which would have direct implications on radiotherapy strategies given the emerging radiotherapy indications, the various techniques available and the different fractionation regimens applied.
Recently, genetic signatures detecting differential breast cancer intrinsic radiosensitivity profiles and predictive assays estimating host radiosensitivity properties have been developed. They might permit the introduction of a new era of tailored radiotherapy leading to escalating or de-escalating treatment in a knowledge-based manner with the use of prognostic and predictive factors appropriate for every individual patient. However, important questions, such as the interactions of radiotherapy with systemic treatments in terms of benefits and toxicities, and the validation of available preclinical data concerning radiosensitivity properties remain to be addressed before this concept can be adopted into routine clinical practice.
The scope of this Research Topic is to summarize and put into perspective the current knowledge on the field thus highlighting the potential of preclinical evidence to lead to clinical improvements in breast cancer radiotherapy. Articles welcomed to this Topic will address evidence of breast cancer heterogeneity as a prognostic and predictive factor, genetic signatures available and the implications of their introduction to clinical practice and preclinical evidence on distinct radiosensitivity properties of the host and of the tumour. Finally, clinical trials ongoing or to be developed in the field will also be discussed.
Keywords: Breast cancer, radiobiology, irradiation, subtypes, molecular signatures
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