As a treatment for early-stage breast cancer, accelerated partial-breast irradiation (APBI) with interstitial brachytherapy results in good to excellent cosmesis in nearly all patients and is associated with only mild toxicities, according to new research conducted by William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich.
The current findings are based on a study of 199 patients with Atage I or II breast cancer who were treated with APBI between April 1993 and December 2001 at the authors' institution.
The APBI was applied to the tumor bed alone using low-dose-rate or high-dose-rate implants. The low-dose-rate treatment, an inpatient procedure, delivered 50 Gy over 96 hours; the high-dose-rate therapy was given as an outpatient procedure and delivered 32 or 34 Gy in 8 or 10 fractions, separated by 6 hours.
The median follow-up period was 6.4 years. At long-term follow-up, 33 percent of cosmetic outcomes were excellent, 66 percent were good, and 1 percent were fair.