In women with breast cancer undergoing breast-conserving surgery, accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) using multicatheter brachytherapy does not negatively affect quality of life, compared with standard whole breast irradiation, investigators have reported.
Patients reported similar quality of life scores for multicatheter brachytherapy–based APBI and whole breast irradiation in the study by the Groupe Européen de Curiethérapie of European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (GEC-ESTRO).
Moreover, breast symptom scores were significantly worse for whole-breast radiation, Rebekka Schäfer, MD, of the department of radiation oncology at the University Hospital Würzburg (Germany) and colleagues reported in.
“This trial provides further clinical evidence that APBI with interstitial brachytherapy can be considered as an alternative treatment option after breast-conserving surgery for patients with low-risk breast cancer,” Dr. Schäfer and coauthors wrote.
In several previous studies, APBI has been shown to have clinical outcomes equivalent to those of whole breast irradiation in terms of disease recurrence, survival, and treatment side effects, they added.
The quality of life findings in the present report come from long-term follow-up of a randomized, controlled, phase 3 trial conducted at 16 European centers. This study included 1,184 women with early breast cancer randomly who, after receiving breast-conserving surgery, were assigned either to APBI that used multicatheter brachytherapy or to whole breast irradiation.
Women in the study completed validated quality of life questionnaires right before and right after radiotherapy, as well as during follow-up.