Projects per year
Objective TARGIT-A randomised women with early breast cancer to receive external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) or intraoperative radiotherapy (TARGIT-IORT). This study aimed to identify what extra risk of recurrence patients would accept for perceived benefits and risks of different radiotherapy treatments. Methods Patient preferences were determined by self-rated trade-off questionnaires in two studies: Stage (1) 209 TARGIT-A participants (TARGIT-IORTn = 108, EBRTn = 101); Stage (2) 123 non-trial patients yet to receive radiotherapy (pre-treatment group), with 85 also surveyed post-radiotherapy. Patients traded-off risks of local recurrence in preference selection between TARGIT-IORT and EBRT. Results TARGIT-IORT patients were more accepting of IORT than EBRT patients with 60% accepting the highest increased risk presented (4%-6%) compared to 12% of EBRT patients, and 2% not accepting IORT at all compared to 43% of EBRT patients. Pre-treatment patients were more accepting of IORT than post-treatment patients with 23% accepting the highest increased risk presented compared to 15% of post-treatment patients, and 15% not accepting IORT at all compared to 41% of pre-treatment patients. Conclusions Breast cancer patients yet to receive radiotherapy accept a higher recurrence risk than the actual risk found in TARGIT-A. Measured patient preferences are highly influenced by experience of treatment received. This finding challenges the validity of post-treatment preference studies.