Strahlentherapie und Onkologie : Organ der Deutschen Röntgengesellschaft ... [et al] vol:175 issue:10 pages:478-83
BACKGROUND: Breast conservation management including tumorectomy or quadrantectomy and external beam radiotherapy with a dose of 45 to 50 Gy in the treatment of small breast carcinomas is generally accepted. The use of a radiation boost--in particular for specific subgroups--has not been clarified. With regard to the boost technique there is some controversy between groups emphasizing the value of electron boost treatment and groups pointing out the value of interstitial boost treatment. This controversy has become even more complicated as there is an increasing number of institutions reporting the use of HDR interstitial brachytherapy for boost treatment. The most critical issue with regard to interstitial HDR brachytherapy is the assumed serious long-term morbidity after a high single radiation dose as used in HDR-treatments. METHODS AND RESULTS: This article gives a perspective and recommendations on some aspects of this issue (indication, timing, target volume, dose and dose rate). CONCLUSION: More information about the indication for a boost is to be expected from the EORTC trial 22881/10882. Careful selection of treatment procedures for specific subgroups of patients and refinement in surgical procedures and radiotherapy techniques may be useful in improving the clinical and cosmetic results in breast conservation therapy. Prospective trials comparing on the one hand different boost techniques and on the other hand particular morphologic criteria in treatments with boost and without boost are needed to give more detailed recommendations for boost indications and for boost techniques.