Newswise — Recent controversy about breast brachytherapy – a shorter course of radiation treatment for breast cancer – has called into question whether the technique is being offered to too many women. New research on an advanced form of brachytherapy is now being reported by UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center and 11 other centers in the United States. These studies report highly favorable outcomes for a form of breast brachytherapy called SAVI.
Study leader and brachytherapy pioneer, Catheryn Yashar, MD, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, is available to discuss the data and the issues.
The new data, being presented this spring at several major conferences, show low rates of side effects and complications that are equivalent to traditional whole-breast irradiation (WBI). In contrast to WBI, the FDA-cleared breast brachytherapy takes only five days instead of six weeks, causing far less fatigue and allowing women to return to normal daily life much more quickly.
The new studies challenge skeptics' concerns that too many women may be receiving breast brachytherapy and will no doubt spark a new round of discussion about the best way to treat early-stage breast cancer.