ABSTRACT: To evaluate the likelihood of preserving the breast in women who show close or positive margins after conservative surgery for early breast carcinoma.
Since 1996, 125 women with less than 5 mm or positive margins and positive separate cavity margin sampling were entered in a prospective trial with high-dose radiotherapy. A standard dose of 50 Gy to the whole breast was followed by a high-dose-rate brachytherapy application delivering 3 fractions of 4.4 Gy in 24 hours. The median follow-up was 84 months.
There were only seven local recurrences, with an actuarial local control rate of 95.8% at 5 years and 91.1% at 9 years. Actuarial overall and cause-specific survival rates were 92.6% and 95% at 5 years and 86.7% and 90.4% at 9 years, respectively. Late fibrosis was the most common complication, in 30% of patients, with good or excellent cosmetic results in 77%. The final result was that 95.2% of breasts were preserved.
Close or positive-margin breast cancer can be well managed with a high-dose boost in a wide tumor bed by means of high-dose-rate brachytherapy. This technique can avoid mastectomy or poor cosmetic resection, with minimal risk of local or general failure.
International Journal of Radiation OncologyBiologyPhysics 09/2007; 68(5):1381-7. · 4.11 Impact Factor