Four-fraction ultra-accelerated minimal breast irradiation in early breast cancer: The initial feasibility results of an institutional experience



      To evaluate the feasibility, early toxicity, and clinical outcomes of early-breast cancer patients in a single-arm, phase I/II study of an ultra-accelerated, four-fraction schedule of minimal breast irradiation (4f-AMBI) using a multicatheter, minimally-invasive, intraoperative tumor bed implant (MITBI) during breast-conserving surgery (BCS).


      Eligible women aged >40 years with clinically and radiologically confirmed, unifocal invasive or in situ ≤3 cm tumors were considered as potential candidates for MITBI during BCS. After the pathology report, patients who met APBI criteria received ultra-accelerated four-fractions irradiation (6.2 Gy BID x 4fx over 2 days) with perioperative HDR-brachytherapy (PHDRBT). Early complications, toxicity, clinical outcomes, and cosmetic results were analyzed.


      Of 89 patients initially implanted, 60(67.4%) were definitively included in the 4f-AMBI-protocol. The median age was 64.4 years; the median CTV was 32.1 cc (6.9–75.4 cc), and the external-V100 was 43.1 cc (12.87–107 cc), representing 5% of the breast tissue irradiated with a median CTV D90 of 6.2 Gy (5.6–6.28 Gy). The entire local treatment (BCS&MITBI-4f-AMBI) was completed at a median of 8 days (4–10 days). The rate of early complications was 11%. There were no major complications. Acute skin-subcutaneous G1 toxicity was reported in 11.7%, and late G1 toxicity on 36.7%. After a median follow-up of 27 months (11–51 months), the local, elsewhere, locoregional and distant-control rates were 100%, 98.3%, 100%, and 100% respectively. The early-cosmetic evaluation was excellent-good in 94.5% of patients evaluated.


      Ultra-accelerated, four-fraction, minimal breast irradiation (4f-AMBI) using a minimally-invasive tumor bed implant procedure is safe, dosimetrically feasible, and shows small irradiated volumes. This program provides low toxicity rates and excellent short-term clinical and cosmesis outcomes.


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