The Efficacy of Low-Kilovoltage X-Rays Intraoperative Radiation as Boost for Breast Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Breast J. 2023 Jul 3:2023:9035266. doi: 10.1155/2023/9035266. eCollection 2023.


Background: Intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT) is a novel promising technology that may replace external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) as boost for patients receiving breast-conserving surgery. To better evaluate the efficacy of IORT using low-kilovoltage (low-kV) X-rays as boost, we presented this meta-analysis according to the PRISMA checklist.

Methods: Studies reported survival outcomes of intraoperative radiation using low-kilovoltage X-rays system (Intrabeam®, Carl Zeiss Meditec, Dublin, CA, USA) as boost were identified through electronic bibliographic database: PUBMED. The meta-analysis module in Stata (16.0) is used to pool the studies. A Poisson regression model is used to predict a 5-year local recurrence rate.

Results: Twelve studies including 3006 cases were included in the final analysis, with a median follow-up of 55 months weighted by sample size. The pooled local recurrence rate is 0.39% per person-year (95% CI: 0.15%-0.71%), with a low degree of heterogeneity (I2 = 0%). The predicted 5-year local recurrence rate was 3.45%. No difference in pooled local recurrence rate was found between non-neoadjuvant patients studies and neoadjuvant patients studies (0.41% per person-year vs. 0.58% per person-year, P = 0.580).

Conclusions: This study shows that low-kV IORT is an effective method as boost in breast cancer patients, with a low pooled local recurrence rate and low predicted 5-year local recurrence rate. Besides, no difference in the local recurrence rate was found between non-neoadjuvant patients studies and neoadjuvant patients studies. Low-kV IORT boost may be a promising alternative to EBRT boost in the future, which is being tested in the ongoing TARGIT-B trial.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms* / radiotherapy
  • Breast Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Checklist
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mastectomy, Segmental
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy
  • X-Rays