To quantify the journeys and CO2 emissionsif women with breast cancer are treated with risk-adapted single-dose targetedintraoperative radiotherapy (TARGIT) rather than several weeks' course ofexternal beam whole breast radiotherapy (EBRT) treatment.
(1) TARGIT-A randomised clinical trial (ISRCTN34086741)which compared TARGIT with traditional EBRT and found similar breast cancercontrol, particularly when TARGIT was given simultaneously with lumpectomy, (2)2 additional UK centres offering TARGIT.
485 UK patients (249 TARGIT, 236 EBRT) inthe prepathology stratum of TARGIT-A trial (where randomisation occurred beforelumpectomy and TARGIT was delivered simultaneously with lumpectomy) for whomgeographical data were available and 22 patients treated with TARGIT aftercompletion of the TARGIT-A trial in 2 additional UK breast centres.
The shortest total journey distance, timeand CO2 emissions from home to hospital to receive all thefractions of radiotherapy.
Distances, time and CO2 emissionswere calculated using Google Maps and assuming a fuel efficiency of 40 mpg. Thegroups were compared using the Student t test with unequal variance and thenon-parametric Wilcoxon rank-sum (Mann-Whitney) test.
TARGIT patients travelled significantlyfewer miles: TARGIT 21 681, mean 87.1 (SE 19.1) versus EBRT 92 591, mean 392.3(SE 30.2); had lower CO2 emissions 24.7 kg (SE 5.4) vs 111 kg (SE 8.6) and spentless time travelling: 3 h (SE 0.53) vs 14 h (SE 0.76), all p2 perpatient).
The use of TARGIT intraoperativeradiotherapy for eligible patients with breast cancer significantly reducestheir journeys for treatment and has environmental benefits. If widelyavailable, 5 million miles (8 000 000 km) of travel, 170 000 woman-hours and1200 tonnes of CO2 (a forest of 100 hectares) will be saved annually in theUK.