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Cancer Biother Radiopharm. 2004 Dec;19(6):673-705.

The evolution of accelerated, partial breast irradiation as a potential treatment option for women with newly diagnosed breast cancer considering breast conservation.

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  • 1Division of General Surgery, Department of Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. dirbas@stanford.edu

Abstract

Breast conservation therapy (BCT) is a safe, effective alternative to mastectomy for many women with newly diagnosed breast cancer. This approach involves local excision of the malignancy with tumor-free margins, followed by 5-7 weeks of external beam whole breast (WB) radiotherapy (XRT) to minimize the risk of an in-breast tumor recurrence (IBTR). Though clearly beneficial, the extended course of almost daily postoperative radiotherapy interrupts normal activities and lengthens care. Additional options are now available that shorten the radiotherapy treatment time to 1-5 days (accelerated) and focus an increased dose of radiation on just the breast tissue around the excision cavity (partial breast). Recent trials with accelerated, partial breast irradiation (APBI) have shown promise as a potential replacement to the longer, whole breast treatments for select women with early-stage breast cancer. Current APBI approaches include interstitial brachytherapy, intracavitary (balloon) brachytherapy, and accelerated external beam (3-D conformal) radiotherapy, all of which normally complete treatment over 5 days, while intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT) condenses the entire treatment into a single dose delivered immediately after tumor excision. Each approach has benefits and limitations. This study covers over 2 decades of clinical trials exploring APBI, discusses treatment variables that appear necessary for successful implementation of this new form of radiotherapy, compares and contrasts the various APBI approaches, and summarizes current and planned randomized trials that will shape if and how APBI is introduced into routine clinical care. Some of the more important outcome variables from these trials will be local toxicity, local and regional recurrence, and overall survival. If APBI options are ultimately demonstrated to be as safe and effective as current whole breast radiotherapy approaches, breast conservation may become an even more appealing choice, and the overall impact of treatment may be further reduced for certain women with newly diagnosed breast cancer.

PMID:
15665616
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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