Accelerated partial breast irradiation as part of breast conserving therapy of early breast carcinoma: a systematic review

Radiother Oncol. 2009 Jan;90(1):1-13. doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2008.08.005. Epub 2008 Sep 8.


New strategies for adjuvant radiotherapy of early breast cancer are being investigated in several phase III randomised trials at the present time. Accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) is a way to offer an early breast cancer patient, who has had breast conservative surgery, an adjuvant radiotherapy of short duration aimed at the tumour bed with a certain margin. The rationale of this strategy is that most local recurrences appear close to the tumorectomy cavity and a wish to spare the patient late radiation morbidity. This review discusses the background for APBI, the different techniques, and we highlight possible pitfalls using these techniques. A systematic overview of all phase I and II studies is provided. Patient selection for this therapy is pivotal and based on evidence from previous studies on patient/tumour characteristics and pattern of local recurrences we propose inclusion criteria for patients in APBI protocols.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Brachytherapy / methods
  • Breast Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / radiotherapy
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Radiotherapy, Conformal
  • Risk Factors