Management of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) commonly involves excision, radiotherapy, and hormonal therapy. Radiotherapy is employed for local control in breast conservation. Evidence is evolving for several radiotherapy techniques exist beyond standard whole-breast irradiation.
Bruce G. Haffty, MD
The incorporation of molecular subtypes into the locoregional management of breast cancer has lagged behind its use in systemic therapy. Omission or dose-intensification of RT based on subtypes should be investigated in future trials.
Management recommendations for breast cancer local-regional recurrence (LRR), including patient scenarios, are reviewed, and represent evidence-based data and expert opinion of the American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria Expert Panel on LRR.
Chadha et al are to be commended for their excellent review of repeat breast-conservation therapy after isolated in-breast local failures. We will briefly review several important points already made by the study authors.
As breast cancer remains the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in the United States, there has been a decline in breast cancer–related mortality for the past 2 decades; this is likely related to diagnosis at an earlier stage and the availability of more effective treatment regimens.
Breast-conservation therapy (BCT), consisting of lumpectomy followed by whole-breast irradiation (WBI), is the standard of care for women with early-stage breast cancer. However, many women who are candidates for BCT either choose mastectomy or lumpectomy alone for myriad reasons. Accelerated partial-breast irradiation (APBI) is a collection of radiotherapy techniques that deliver higher daily doses of radiation to the surgical cavity with margin over a shorter time than WBI, reducing total treatment time from 6-6.5 weeks to 1-2 weeks. Advocates of APBI state that early results of this approach demonstrate excellent local control, minimal acute toxicity, and are associated with more convenience for the patient. Phase III randomized clinical trials are currently underway to assess local control, acute and chronic toxicities, and quality of life associated with APBI compared to WBI. In this review, we hope to clarify the rationale behind APBI and discuss in depth data concerning various partial-breast irradiation techniques that are being used throughout the United States and around the world.