Breast Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

30-Year Analysis of Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation for Early-Stage Breast Cancer

By: Vanessa A. Carter, BS
Posted: Tuesday, November 16, 2021

During the 2021 American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting, Nikhil Mankuzhy, MD, of Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, Rochester, Michigan, and colleagues presented their study regarding treatment outcomes and techniques among patients administered accelerated partial breast irradiation (Abstract 69). These results demonstrated that various accelerated partial breast irradiation techniques are “equally effective” for individuals with early-stage breast cancer, suggesting it may be a viable alternative for some patients.

A total of 926 patients treated with accelerated partial breast irradiation between 1990 and 2019 were analyzed. Participant demographics, clinical and pathologic features, clinical outcomes, and treatment details were retrospectively reviewed.

Approximately half (50.6%) of patients had invasive ductal carcinoma. When comparing applicator-based therapy with implant-based, external-beam radiotherapy, and intraoperative radiotherapy, there were no apparent observed differences in freedom from local recurrence (P = .66), freedom from a mastectomy (P = .15), or overall survival (P = .83). Notably, the cumulative incidence of ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence appeared to gradually increase over 5 (1.5%), 10 (3.3%), and 25 years (5.2%); there was no apparent difference among treatment techniques.

At a median-follow up of 121.6 months, cosmesis appeared to be good or excellent in 93%, 91%, and 84% with interstitial, applicator, and external-beam radiotherapy techniques, respectively. Pigmentary changes, induration or fibrosis, fat necrosis, and telangiectasias were the most commonly observed late toxicities. Notably, most toxicities were none or grade 1, with grade 2 or greater effects noted in less than 10% of individuals.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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