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 MammoSite 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 brachytherapy 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.