Evidence Supporting Brachytherapy Continues to Mount
Chirag S. Shah, MD
Since accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) was first offered in the late 1990’s, numerous studies have been published presenting its equivalence to whole breast irradiation (WBI). Many physicians consider brachytherapy to be underutilized, although research indicates it is just as effective as WBI in terms of survival and local recurrence, with the added benefit of less treatment time and reduced toxicity.
Chirag S. Shah, MD, is a radiation oncologist at Summa Health Systems in Akron, Ohio. He recently co-authored a study which presents 10-year APBI data showing equivalent clinical outcomes and cosmesis to WBI. Another one of his recently published studies follows APBI stratified by the ASTRO consensus groupings. These groupings are considering controversial as the guidelines for APBI treatment in the “cautionary” and “unsuitable” categories include patients whom studies have shown may very well benefit from increased brachytherapy utilization. Dr. Shah discusses the results of his recently published data, the patient benefits of APBI, and what physicians should realize about the ASTRO consensus groupings.