CHICAGOBrachytherapy devices that deliver radiation therapy directly to
the lumpectomy site drastically reduce the time needed for radiotherapy after
surgery for early-stage breast cancer, according to two studies presented at
the 87th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of
North America (RSNA).
The studies also suggest that the devices can decrease the amount of skin
blistering and patient discomfort associated with conventional breast
radiotherapy, improve the acceptance of the procedure for radiation
oncologists, and provide excellent local control of disease.
A study (abstract 236) reported by Martin E. Keisch, MD, a radiation
oncologist at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, Miami Beach, Florida, tested the
balloon breast brachytherapy applicator, which is being developed by Proxima
Therapeutics, Alpharetta, Georgia, and has not yet been approved by the US Food
and Drug Administration.
The study included 26 patients who were over 45 years of age and had T1N0M0
breast carcinomas of 1 cm in size, on average, with no evidence of microscopic
disease on surgical margins.
The patients, who were treated with the MammoSite balloon breast
device at nine centers, had only minimal complications. One patient developed
an abscess with fluid collection that eventually resolved on its own.
Radiotherapy-related side effects were mild; the most common were erythema, dry
desquamation, and pain.
Although the study was not designed to evaluate local control of breast
cancer, there has not been a single recurrence of breast cancer in a year of
follow-up, Dr. Keisch said.
The other study (abstract 234) was presented by Euan Thompson, PhD, CEO and
president of Photoelectron Corp., Lexington, Massachusetts, which markets the
targeted intraoperative radiotherapy Intrabeam system.