Current Opinion in Oncology vol:18 issue:6 pages:555-562
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: New radiotherapy techniques are under development to improve tumor control and to decrease the long-term side effects of breast cancer. These include accelerated partial breast irradiation, intensity modulated and image guided radiotherapy. RECENT FINDINGS: Follow-up data of multicatheter brachytherapy accelerated partial breast irradiation and intraoperative electron beam radiotherapy confirm excellent 5-year local control rates in well selected patients. Early side effects seem to be improved, but recent data show increasing skin toxicity in multicatheter and intracavitary balloon brachytherapy. Intraoperative radiotherapy, proton beam partial breast irradiation, intensity modulated and image guided radiotherapy improve dose homogeneity and decrease normal tissue complication probability. For breast-only treatment, two tangential fields with different segments provide an attractive and feasible alternative to the conventional technique. The proposed intensity modulated radiotherapy techniques for comprehensive locoregional radiotherapy, however, result in increased doses to the contralateral lung and breast. SUMMARY: Input from long-term clinical data on new radiotherapy techniques is needed. Consensus on target volume contouring and dose volume constraints for nontarget tissue has not yet been reached. Further research on skin toxicity with multicatheter or intracavitary brachytherapy is needed to improve the results.