Breast conservation therapy is the treatment of choice for the management of patients with early stage breast cancer. Accelerated partial breast irradiation (PBI) is radiation therapy that is delivered to the tumor site, plus a margin after surgical resection, over a shorter period of time as compared to standard whole-breast radiation therapy. PBI can be delivered via an array of different technologies: 3-dimensional conformal radiation, interstitial multicatheter brachytherapy, intracavitary catheter brachytherapy, or by single-fraction intraoperative radiation therapy. These PBI technologies offer radiation oncologists additional options in customizing radiation therapy in order to optimize local control, cosmesis, dose distribution, and decrease the radiation dose to healthy tissue, all of which positively impact the patient's quality of life. The technological modalities of PBI and their favorable and unfavorable aspects are highlighted.
After reading this article, the participant should be able to:
- SUMMARIZE the basic knowledge of partial breast irradiation.
- EXPLAIN the different techniques available for performing partial breast irradiation.
- IDENTIFY the procedures that need to be completed prior to the administration of radiation therapy to the breast.
- OUTLINE the advantages and disadvantages of external beam radiation therapy, intraoperative radiation therapy, and brachytherapy.