Three-Fraction Intracavitary Accelerated Partial Breast Brachytherapy: Early Provider and Patient-Reported Outcomes of a Novel Regimen

Krishan R. Jethwa, Sean S. Park, Karthik Gonuguntla, Stephanie M. Wick, Laura A. Vallow, Christopher L. Deufel, Thomas J. Whitaker, Keith M. Furutani, Kathryn J. Ruddy, Kimberly S. Corbin, Tina J. Hieken, Robert W. Mutter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Purpose: To report early adverse events and patient-reported outcomes (PROs) of 3-fraction intracavitary catheter-based partial breast brachytherapy (ICBB). Materials and Methods: Eligible women ≥50 years of age with ≤2.5-cm, lymph node–negative invasive or in situ breast cancer underwent breast-conserving surgery and placement of a brachytherapy applicator. ICBB was initiated on the second weekday after surgery and prescribed to 21 Gy in 3 once-daily fractions. Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events, version 4.0; 10-point linear analog scale assessment; the PRO version of the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events; and the Harvard Breast Cosmesis Scale were used for provider and patient-reported assessments. Results: Seventy-three women were treated for invasive (79%) or in situ (21%) breast cancer. The median time to completion of surgery and radiation therapy was 6 days. After 14-months median follow-up, 2 patients (3%) had developed breast infections that resolved with oral antibiotics. There was no other treatment-associated adverse event grade ≥2. The grade 1 seroma rate at 3 months was 20%, which dropped to 8% at 12 months; no events required intervention. At 12 months, 91% of patients reported an overall quality of life score as ≥8 of 10, and patient-reported cosmesis was good or excellent in 95%. All patients are alive without relapse at the last follow-up. Conclusions: Three-fraction ICBB is associated with low rates of early provider and patient- reported adverse events and compares favorably with early outcomes of more protracted ICBB regimens, including twice-daily (3.4 Gy × 10) fractionation studied in the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) B-39. Further investigation is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-82
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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