Five-year outcomes, cosmesis, and toxicity with 3-dimensional conformal external beam radiation therapy to deliver accelerated partial breast irradiation

Núria Rodríguez, Xavier Sanz, Josefa Dengra, Palmira Foro, Ismael Membrive, Anna Reig, Jaume Quera, Enric Fernández-Velilla, Óscar Pera, Jackson Lio, Joan Lozano, Manuel Algara
International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 2013 December 1, 87 (5): 1051-7

PURPOSE: To report the interim results from a study comparing the efficacy, toxicity, and cosmesis of breast-conserving treatment with accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) or whole breast irradiation (WBI) using 3-dimensional conformal external beam radiation therapy (3D-CRT).

METHODS AND MATERIALS: 102 patients with early-stage breast cancer who underwent breast-conserving surgery were randomized to receive either WBI (n=51) or APBI (n=51). In the WBI arm, 48 Gy was delivered to the whole breast in daily fractions of 2 Gy, with or without additional 10 Gy to the tumor bed. In the APBI arm, patients received 37.5 Gy in 3.75 Gy per fraction delivered twice daily. Toxicity results were scored according to the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Common Toxicity Criteria. Skin elasticity was measured using a dedicated device (Multi-Skin-Test-Center MC-750-B2, CKelectronic-GmbH). Cosmetic results were assessed by the physician and the patients as good/excellent, regular, or poor.

RESULTS: The median follow-up time was 5 years. No local recurrences were observed. No significant differences in survival rates were found. APBI reduced acute side effects and radiation doses to healthy tissues compared with WBI (P<.01). Late skin toxicity was no worse than grade 2 in either group, without significant differences between the 2 groups. In the ipsilateral breast, the areas that received the highest doses (ie, the boost or quadrant) showed the greatest loss of elasticity. WBI resulted in a greater loss of elasticity in the high-dose area compared with APBI (P<.05). Physician assessment showed that >75% of patients in the APBI arm had excellent or good cosmesis, and these outcomes appear to be stable over time. The percentage of patients with excellent/good cosmetic results was similar in both groups.

CONCLUSIONS: APBI delivered by 3D-CRT to the tumor bed for a selected group of early-stage breast cancer patients produces 5-year results similar to those achieved with conventional WBI.

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