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Brachytherapy. 2011 Jan-Feb;10(1):74-80. doi: 10.1016/j.brachy.2010.01.005. Epub 2010 Aug 4.

Comparison of conservative management techniques in the re-treatment of ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Allegheny General Hospital, 320 East North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212, USA.



To compare brachytherapy and three-dimensional (3-D) conformal external beam radiotherapy for breast cancer presenting in the previously irradiated breast.


Thirty-six patients with TIS-T2 breast carcinomas received brachytherapy or 3-D conformal radiotherapy (3-D CRT) after lumpectomy in a previously irradiated breast as an alternative to salvage mastectomy. Brachytherapy consisted of low-dose-rate (LDR) interstitial technique in 21 patients, whereas 11 patients were treated using high-dose-rate (HDR) balloon technique. Four patients received 3-D CRT. Cosmesis was graded according to the Harvard criteria and the Allegheny General Modification of the Harvard criteria. Acute sequelae were graded according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (version 3.0).


Thirty-five of 36 patients remained free of local failure, with a mean followup of 37 months. Five patients treated with LDR developed Grade II and two developed Grade III acute side effects. No patient treated with balloon brachytherapy or 3-D CRT developed a Grade II or higher acute effect. Cosmetically, 12 LDR interstitial patients were scored as Grade I, six as Grade II, and three as Grade III. Nine of the HDR patients were scored as Grade I, one as Grade II, and one as Grade III. Two 3-D CRT patients were scored as Grade II and two as Grade III. The Allegheny Modification of the Harvard criteria more accurately reflected the cosmetic effects of re-treatment.


Brachytherapy is feasible for patients who desire breast preservation in a previously irradiated breast. All techniques demonstrated similar local control rates. Acute side effects were less, and cosmesis was superior in HDR balloon brachytherapy.

Copyright © 2011 American Brachytherapy Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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