ABSTRACT Background: The aim of breast-conserving treatment (BCT) in breast cancer, consisting of wide local excision (WLE) and radiotherapy, is to obtain local control of disease as well as an optimal cosmetic result. The application of perioperative brachytherapy allows more precise deposition of the boost radiation dose to the lumpectomy cavity plus margins in a shorter period of time, as compared to external beam radiotherapy. The aim of the present study was to analyze the oncological outcome of interstitial brachytherapy in our patient population of patients with early-stage breast cancer. Patients and Methods: 107 breasts in 105 patients with T1-2 breast cancer were treated between 1996 and 2009 with BCT, including WLE combined with perioperative brachytherapy using Iridium-192 (15 Gy with low dose rate or 9 Gy with high dose rate) followed by whole breast irradiation (50 Gy). Outcomes analyzed included treatment toxicity (according to Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events), local recurrence rate, and disease-free and overall survival. Results: Median follow-up of patients still alive was 6.3 years (range 2.0 - 14.5). Mean age was 50.2 years (+/- S.D. 10.5). Mean tumor diameter was 15 mm (+/- S.D. 8 mm. Acute complications consisted of grade 1 and 3 complications, respectively n = 8 and n = 1. Late complications consisted of grade 1 or 2, respectively n = 25 and n = 2. Only three patients (2.8%) developed a local recurrence with a median time to recurrence of 9.3 years (range 3.3 - 9.3). Five- and ten-year local recurrence free survival was 99% and 91%, respectively. Five- and ten-year disease-specific and overall survival was 95% and 84% versus 92% and 78%, respectively. Conclusions: Treatment-related toxicity after brachytherapy for breast cancer was mild. The local recurrence rate is low. Therefore, brachytherapy is a good alternative to conventional radiation boost as a part of breast irradiation in breast conserving treatment in early stage breast cancer.
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