To report interim cosmetic and toxicity results of a multicenter randomized trial comparing accelerated partial-breast irradiation (APBI) using three-dimensional conformal external beam radiation therapy (3D-CRT) with whole-breast irradiation (WBI).
Patients and Methods
Women age > 40 years with invasive or in situ breast cancer ≤ 3 cm were randomly assigned after breast-conserving surgery to 3D-CRT APBI (38.5 Gy in 10 fractions twice daily) or WBI (42.5 Gy in 16 or 50 Gy in 25 daily fractions ± boost irradiation). The primary outcome was ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence (IBTR). Secondary outcomes were cosmesis and toxicity. Adverse cosmesis was defined as a fair or poor global cosmetic score. After a planned interim cosmetic analysis, the data, safety, and monitoring committee recommended release of results. There have been too few IBTR events to trigger an efficacy analysis.
Between 2006 and 2011, 2,135 women were randomly assigned to 3D-CRT APBI or WBI. Median follow-up was 36 months. Adverse cosmesis at 3 years was increased among those treated with APBI compared with WBI as assessed by trained nurses (29% v 17%; P < .001), by patients (26% v 18%; P = .0022), and by physicians reviewing digital photographs (35% v 17%; P < .001). Grade 3 toxicities were rare in both treatment arms (1.4% v 0%), but grade 1 and 2 toxicities were increased among those who received APBI compared with WBI (P < .001).
3D-CRT APBI increased rates of adverse cosmesis and late radiation toxicity compared with standard WBI. Clinicians and patients are cautioned against the use of 3D-CRT APBI outside the context of a controlled trial.