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Dr. Smith on the Brachytherapy Breast Cancer Trial

Dr. Benjamin Smith from MD Anderson Cancer Center Discusses the Brachytherapy Breast Cancer Trial

Benjamin D. Smith, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, Division of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses a clinical trial that compared whole-breast irradiation (WBI) to accelerated partial breast brachytherapy (APBI-brachy) for women that were diagnosed with incident-invasive breast cancer after lumpectomy.

The study looked at 130 535 Medicare patients age 66 and older that were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer between 2000 and 2007. Compared to WBI the patients receiving APBI-brachy had a much higher incidence of mastectomy within 5 years of treatment, postoperative infections, breast pain, and fat necrosis.

Smith describes the trial as being novel and intriguing because of the unexpected illustration of outcomes demonstrated between the two therapies. A complex trade-off between the two therapies has been revealed and an appreciation of the differences will help clinicians and patients determine the best radiation treatment approach.

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