Perioperative high-dose-rate interstitial brachytherapy boost for patients with early breast cancer
Aims and background. To evaluate the clinical results of perioperative high-dose-rate interstitial brachytherapy boost treatment preceding whole breast external beam radiation therapy in patients with early breast cancer. Methods and study design. From 2005-2010, 100 patients with early breast cancer who met the eligibility criteria were enrolled in the study. Brachytherapy implant was performed during the breast-conserving surgery procedure. The boost treatment was started on the 3rd postoperative day to deliver a dose of 15 Gy in 6 fractions over 3 days. Three weeks later, external beam radiation therapy to the whole breast was started for a prescription dose of 50 Gy. The study end points were local recurrence, acute toxicity and cosmetic outcome. Results. Median age of the patients was 46 years, and median follow-up was 52 months. No patient developed a local recurrence but 5 patients developed distant metastases. The 5-year overall survival and disease-free survival were 86% and 77%, respectively. Eleven patients had acute toxicity; 4 wound complications and 7 grade III skin toxicity. Nine of the 11 patients had breast size of more than 1500 cc. Except for the breast volume (>1500 cc), there was no statistically significant correlation between any of the patient or dosimetry-related factors and acute toxicity. Good-excellent cosmesis was observed in 87% of patients. Conclusions. Perioperative high-dose-rate interstitial brachytherapy boost followed by whole breast external beam radiation therapy provides excellent local control, acceptable acute toxicity and good-excellent breast cosmesis in patients with early breast cancer.
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