Based on the good results of re-irradiation plus hyperthermia in breast cancer recurrences on the chest wall, it was decided to offer similar treatment to a patient with recurrent metastatic breast cancer in the orbital region. A female patient was diagnosed in 1997 with breast cancer stage T4N0M0. She was treated with six neo-adjuvant chemotherapy courses and mastectomy, followed by hormonal treatment. In December 1998, she was diagnosed with metastatic disease in the medial upper quadrant of the left orbit. This was excised, followed by 40 Gy radiotherapy. Nine months later, the tumour had recurred in the left orbit at the margin of the radiotherapy field. This again was treated with surgery, followed by 30 Gy radiotherapy. Two months thereafter, the eyelid tumour progressed and hormonal therapy was changed, without an effect on the eyelid tumour. Screening gave no evidence of tumour activity elsewhere. The patient preferred treatment with re-irradiation plus hyperthermia to a surgical approach. Eight fractions of 4 Gy were given in 4 weeks, combined with once weekly hyperthermia. One week after treatment, the tumour had regressed completely. The patient died 22 months following treatment. Until last follow-up, a few weeks before death, the patient mentioned a dry left eye for which she used eyedrops, an unchanged vision and no further difficulties. On examination, there was epilation of the eyelids, a slight conjunctival oedema, no subcutaneous fibrosis and no evidence of tumour regrowth. For this patient, a surgical approach would have resulted in loss of the left eye. Toxicity of re-irradiation plus hyperthermia might lead to either a loss of vision or a delayed loss of her left eye due to treatment-induced toxicity. The chosen local treatment resulted in a very good palliative effect, which lasted for the patient's remaining lifetime of 22 months.

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International Journal of Hyperthermia
Department of Radiation Oncology

van der Zee, J, Koper, P.C.M, Jansen, R.F.M, de Winter, K.A.J, & van Rhoon, G.C. (2004). Re-irradiation and hyperthermia for recurrent breast cancer in the orbital region: A case report. International Journal of Hyperthermia, 20(1), 1–6. doi:10.1080/02656730310001609344