AccuBoost®: A new option when making an important decision
Women with early-stage breast cancer increasingly choose to treat the cancer and save their breast. Breast Conservation Therapy (BCT) starts with the surgical removal of cancerous tissue in a procedure known as lumpectomy.
In Breast Conservation Therapy, there are typically two different paths that a patient might select. One approach is External Beam Radiation Therapy (XBRT), also known as Whole Breast Irradiation (WBI), and the second approach is Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (APBI). AccuBoost technology is able to support either of these approaches. The best option for any patient should be part of her discussion with her radiation oncologist, but both approaches have shown excellent results.
Whole Breast Irradiation: In this approach, the lumpectomy is followed by daily sessions of radiation therapy to the whole breast for four to six weeks. Whole breast irradiation (WBI) is looked at by many as the “gold standard” for breast radiotherapy based on over three decades of experience. The WBI protocol also often requires additional localized radiation, known as the “boost” dose, aimed only at the tissue surrounding the tumor bed. The combination of surgery and completion of radiation therapy has been effective in preventing cancer recurrence. Numerous studies show that women with early stage disease have a clear option to preserve the breast and fight off the cancer.
Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation: Developed over the last 15 years, this approach treats only the tissue immediately around the lumpectomy cavity, sparing radiation from the balance of the breast. This approach has gained a great deal of popularity as it is complete in 5 to 10 days and typically will more easily fit the lifestyles of active women or those at a great distance from a treatment center. AccuBoost is unique for use in APBI, as it is the only non-invasive brachytherapy option available. Typically, with most other techniques a catheter or series of catheters is left in the breast for 10 to 15 days creating discomfort and potentially giving rise to infection or other catheter related complications. It can also be painful when these are removed at the end of treatment. Treatment centers that offer AccuBoost also have the option of delivering the radiation EITHER once per day for 10 days, or twice per day for 5 days. The choice between these options would be made together between doctor and patient based on her specific needs. Appropriate candidates for APBI include women with all invasive histologies and ductal carcinoma in situ with node negative tumors.