Radiotherapy Booster - younger patients

Radiotherapy Booster - younger patients

Radiotherapy Booster - younger patients I saw in the Daily Mail today a well-written report about radiotherapy. They include information about the booster treatment after the initial sessions are completed. I did research on this before I started my radiotherapy, and I pushed quite hard to get the 5-day booster (routine in the US). There was a conference proceedings article from 2002 that stated that (particularly) for the under-40s, the extra booster reduces the relative risk of local recurrence by 54% (ie, if 10 people in 100 will have a recurrence, 5 of those could have been avoided). The article gives the ‘cure’ rate as 72% for those 49 and younger after radiation, 86% if they have had a booster.

I asked why I was not automatically offered a booster - the answers were unsatisfactory (to me). One was that some people over-react to radiation so do not need the extra dose (fine, so don’t give a booster if you see an extreme reaction, surely?) the other was resources and time on the machines.

If you are under 40 and having radtiotherapy, my advice is MAKE SURE you ask for a booster.

Tina xx

Thanks Tina Tina

Thanks for that post. I had 25 x rads and 8 x boosters and didnt come across anyone else having this whilst having my treatment, i wondered why i was different.

This now answers my question. I should thank my oncologist when i see him next!

Hope you get yours sorted


Are these boosters only effective if added on at the end of your treatment or can they be done at a later date? (my 20 sessions of radiotherapy finished end of Dec and I had no adverse effects but was not offered it).


The boosters are meant to be done right after treatment has finished, but you could ask your doctor if you still have the option. They are especially useful after a lumpectomy (as a treatment to the tumour bed), where margins are negative but small (my margins were only 1mm to the chest wall). The report states the study was of Stage 1 and 2 patients.

Doctors take a long time to change the way they treat patients and may not be completely clued up for younger patients (younger = more time for a recurrence).

I’m glad to hear from the earlier post that there are oncologists embracing this simple and effective add-on, I would like to hear that more often!

The report that I had found of the conference is at:

T xx