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Radiother Oncol. 2010 Mar;94(3):264-73. doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2010.01.014. Epub 2010 Feb 22.

Patient selection for accelerated partial-breast irradiation (APBI) after breast-conserving surgery: recommendations of the Groupe Européen de Curiethérapie-European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (GEC-ESTRO) breast cancer working group based on clinical evidence (2009).

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Department of Radiotherapy, National Institute of Oncology, Budapest, Hungary.



To give recommendations on patient selection criteria for the use of accelerated partial-breast irradiation (APBI) based on available clinical evidence complemented by expert opinion.


Overall, 340 articles were identified by a systematic search of the PubMed database using the keywords "partial-breast irradiation" and "APBI". This search was complemented by searches of reference lists of articles and handsearching of relevant conference abstracts and book chapters. Of these, 3 randomized and 19 prospective non-randomized studies with a minimum median follow-up time of 4 years were identified. The authors reviewed the published clinical evidence on APBI, complemented by relevant clinical and pathological studies of standard breast-conserving therapy and, through a series of personal communications, formulated the recommendations presented in this article.


The GEC-ESTRO Breast Cancer Working Group recommends three categories guiding patient selection for APBI: (1) a low-risk group for whom APBI outside the context of a clinical trial is an acceptable treatment option; including patients ageing at least 50 years with unicentric, unifocal, pT1-2 (<or=30 mm) pN0, non-lobular invasive breast cancer without the presence of an extensive intraductal component (EIC) and lympho-vascular invasion (LVI) and with negative surgical margins of at least 2mm, (2) a high-risk group, for whom APBI is considered contraindicated; including patients ageing <or=40 years; having positive margins, and/or multicentric or large (>30 mm) tumours, and/or EIC positive or LVI positive tumours, and/or 4 or more positive lymph nodes or unknown axillary status (pNx), and (3) an intermediate-risk group, for whom APBI is considered acceptable only in the context of prospective clinical trials.


These recommendations will provide a clinical guidance regarding the use of APBI outside the context of a clinical trial before large-scale randomized clinical trial outcome data become available. Furthermore they should promote further clinical research focusing on controversial issues in the treatment of early-stage breast carcinoma.

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