Breast cancer radiation therapy: A bibliometric analysis of the scientific literature

Pierfrancesco Franco, Francesca De Felice, Reshma Jagsi, Gustavo Nader Marta, Orit Kaidar-Person, Dorota Gabrys, Kyubo Kim, Duvern Ramiah, Icro Meattini, Philip Poortmans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background and purpose: Breast cancer is the most common malignancy in women and radiation therapy (RT) is crucial in its multimodality management. Since bibliometrics is a powerful tool to reveal the scientific literature, we decided to perform a bibliometric analysis of the literature on breast cancer radiotherapy. We explored emerging trends and common patterns in research, tracking collaboration and networks, and foreseeing future directions in this clinical setting. Material and methods: The electronic Scopus database was searched using the keywords “breast cancer” and “radiotherapy” to include manuscripts published in English, between 2000 and 2021. Data analysis was performed using R-Studio 0.98.1091 software with a machine-learning bibliometric method, based on the bibliometrix R package. The most relevant authors were quantified per number and fractionalized number of authored documents. Author productivity was analysed through Lotka's law. Bradford's law was applied to identify the nucleus of journals focused on the addressed topic. Mainstream themes area included isolated topics (niche themes), new topics (emerging themes), hot topics (motor themes) and essential topics (basic themes). Results: A total of 27 184 documents was found, mainly original articles (76 %). The annual growth rate was 6.98 %, with an increase in scientific production from 485 to 2000 documents between 2000 and 2021. Overall, 2 544 journals published ≥ 1 documents. The most relevant authors were affiliated in the United States. Surgical procedures, cancer type and treatment strategies represented basic themes, while primary systemic therapy and sentinel lymph node biopsy were emerging themes. Health-related quality of life was a niche theme, while RT techniques had high centrality. Conclusion: The primary interests of breast cancer radiation oncologists have evolved over time, adding safety, health related quality of life, sustainability of treatments and combination to systemic therapies to radiotherapy efficacy and effectiveness and treatment outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100556
JournalClinical and Translational Radiation Oncology
StatePublished - Mar 2023

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  • Bibliometric analysis
  • Bibliometrics
  • Breast cancer
  • Radiation therapy
  • Radiotherapy


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