Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (APBI): Where Are We Now? Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Purpose of Review: Accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) is an alternative approach to breast conserving therapy (BCT) where radiation (RT) is delivered over a shorter period of time compared with whole breast irradiation (WBI), resulting in improved patient convenience and cost savings. APBI can be delivered using brachytherapy, intraoperative RT, or conformal external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) techniques. In this review, the authors appraise the latest modern randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of APBI and discuss the application of the data to clinical practice. Recent Findings: The OCOG-RAPID and NSABP B-39/RTOG 0413 trials recently reported long-term outcomes of APBI. The OCOG-RAPID trial delivered 38.5 Gy/10 fractions twice daily (at least 6 h apart using EBRT) or WBI and demonstrated non-inferiority of APBI compared with WBI (8-year cumulative rate of ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence (IBTR) was 3% after APBI or 2.8% after WBI, HR 1.27, 90%CI: 0.84-1.91). While acute toxicity was reduced, late toxicity and breast cosmesis were worse with APBI. The NSABP B-39 trial included higher risk patients and was unable to demonstrate equivalence between APBI (38.5 Gy/10 fractions delivered twice daily using EBRT or brachytherapy techniques) and WBI. However, 10-year IBTR rates were low: 4.6% vs. 3.9%, respectively, HR 1.22, 90%CI: 0.94-1.58. The University of Florence demonstrated low rates of local recurrence at 10 years and overall excellent breast cosmetic outcomes when APBI was delivered using EBRT to a dose of 30 Gy/5 fractions delivered on non-consecutive days. Summary: Recent RCTs of APBI have shed light on important factors for the integration of APBI into clinical practice, including patient selection and treatment delivery. APBI should be limited to patients with low-risk ductal carcinoma in situ or early stage (T1) invasive ductal cancer with clear margins of excision, estrogen receptor positivity, and node negative disease. Ongoing research should focus on the optimal dose/fractionation for delivery of EBRT-based APBI.

publication date

  • December 2020