RTP5103 - Contemporary approaches to radiation therapy of the breast - 2017

12 points, SCA Band 2, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences


Dr Caroline Wright

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Online)
  • Second semester 2017 (Online)


This is an elective unit in the Radiation Therapy stream of the Master of Advanced Health Care Practice. It is designed to build on the practitioners' knowledge and experience in radiation therapy of the breast. Students will extend their understanding of radiation therapy dose and fractionation schedules, localisation, planning, treatment and verification techniques for breast cancer. The unit will present the current issues facing radiation therapy planning and treatment of breast cancer, including the radiobiological rationale for contemporary and novel dose and fractionation schedules. Current and future approaches to irradiation of the breast will be appraised, with reference to the evidence base and reflections from clinical practice. Students will explore the use of multi-modality imaging in the planning and verification of breast cancer treatments.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Critically analyse the relationship between radiobiology and dose/fractionation regimes for breast cancer with respect to novel schedules, reflecting on issues associated with their implementation.
  2. Justify the selection of imaging modalities utilised in the diagnosis, planning and treatment verification of breast cancer.
  3. Analyse and reflect on current and novel radiation therapy planning techniques for breast cancer.
  4. Evaluate the emerging approaches to radiation therapy for breast cancer and reflect on the issues associated with implementation of these.
  5. Appraise side effects and their management in relation to radiation therapy of the breast and discuss the role of toxicity scoring tools in assessing these.
  6. Analyse patient care and management strategies for patients with breast cancer in relation to optimizing health and well-being during the course of radiation therapy.


  • Literature review (3,000 words) (30%)
  • Clinical action plan (1,500 words) (20%)
  • 2 x Evidence-based reports (1,000 words each) (10%)
  • Responses to peer's planning report (500 words) (5%)
  • 2 x Evidence-based reports (1,000 words each) (10%)
  • Responses to peer's planning report (500 words) (5%)
  • Evidence-based critique (2,000 words) (20%)

Workload requirements

Off-campus: 12 hours per week of direct engagement in the learning materials and 12 hours of self-directed study for 12 weeks.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Medical radiations and radiation therapy