Women experience few side effects with short-term breast brachytherapy

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Five-day breast brachytherapy treatment for early-stage breast cancer was linked with low toxicity rates, according to a scientific poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Breast Disease (ASBD) in Dallas, April 12-14.

Researchers examined initial and longer-term effects among a group of 909 patients at 12 centers in the U.S., and found low rates of toxicities.

Jon F. Strasser, MD, a radiation oncologist at Helen F. Graham Cancer Center, Christiana Care Health System, in Newark, Del., and colleagues looked at several potential side effects of accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) using the SAVI device (Cianna Medical).

Patients diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ or invasive breast cancer were treated with brachytherapy (34 Gy in 10 fractions) and adverse events were documented within six weeks and at yearly intervals.

After a median follow-up time of 18.5 months post-brachytherapy, researchers found that rates of seroma, fat necrosis and telangiectasia were 2.6 percent, 0.7 Percent and 1.2 percent, respectively. Also, researchers noted at six weeks, there were few acute toxicities, including low risk of infection, skin erythema or edema.

SAVI delivers a shortened course of radiation therapy for early-stage breast cancer patients following lumpectomy surgery. The SAVI Collaborative Research Group, from which the data were drawn, was established to study clinical outcomes of APBI treatment with the SAVI device.