What is the role of single-dose radiotherapy in the treatment of breast cancer?

Updated: Feb 04, 2021
  • Author: Pavani Chalasani, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: John V Kiluk, MD, FACS  more...
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According to 2 major studies, single-dose radiotherapy delivered during or soon after surgery for breast cancer is a viable alternative to conventional EBRT in selected patients who are at low risk for local recurrence. [119, 120]

In the TARGIT-A trial, more than 3400 patients with early breast cancer were randomized to either 1 intraoperative dose of 20 Gy using a spherical applicator or EBRT delivered according to standard schedules over several weeks. Breast cancer mortality overall was similar in the TARGIT and EBRT groups (2.6% vs 1.9%), but there were significantly fewer non-breast-cancer deaths with TARGIT than with EBRT (1.4% vs 3.5%). Overall mortality rates were 3.9% with TARGIT and 5.3% with EBRT. [119]

In the ELIOT study, 1305 patients were randomized after lumpectomy to receive either intraoperative radiotherapy or EBRT. The 5-year event rate for ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence was 4.4% with ELIOT and 0.4% with EBRT. Overall survival at 5 years was similar in the 2 groups (34 vs 31 deaths), and there was no significant difference between groups in the rate of breast-cancer-related deaths. [119, 120]

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