Factors associated with optimal long-term cosmetic results in patients treated with accelerated partial breast irradiation using balloon-based brachytherapy

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics








Accelerated partial breast irradiation; Brachytherapy; Breast cancer; Cosmesis; MammoSite


Purpose: To evaluate factors associated with optimal cosmetic results at 72 months for early-stage breast cancer patients treated with Mammosite balloon-based accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI). Methods and Materials: A total of 1,440 patients (1,449 cases) with early-stage breast cancer undergoing breast-conserving therapy were treated with balloon-based brachytherapy to deliver APBI (34 Gy in 3.4-Gy fractions). Cosmetic outcome was evaluated at each follow-up visit and dichotomized as excellent/good (E/G) or fair/poor (F/P). Follow-up was evaluated at 36 and 72 months to establish long-term cosmesis, stability of cosmesis, and factors associated with optimal results. Results: The percentage of evaluable patients with excellent/good (E/G) cosmetic results at 36 months and more than 72 months were 93.3% (n = 708/759) and 90.4% (n = 235/260). Factors associated with optimal cosmetic results at 72 months included: larger skin spacing (p = 0.04) and T1 tumors (p = 0.02). Using multiple regression analysis, the only factors predictive of worse cosmetic outcome at 72 months were smaller skin spacing (odds ratio [OR], 0.89; confidence interval [CI], 0.80-0.99) and tumors greater than 2 cm (OR, 4.96, CI, 1.53-16.07). In all, 227 patients had both a 36-month and a 72-month cosmetic evaluation. The number of patients with E/G cosmetic results decreased only slightly from 93.4% at 3 years to 90.8% (p = 0.13) at 6 years, respectively. Conclusions: APBI delivered with balloon-based brachytherapy produced E/G cosmetic results in 90.4% of cases at 6 years. Larger tumors (T2) and smaller skin spacing were found to be the two most important independent predictors of cosmesis. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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