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Hayes, Inc. Unveils Report on Localized Breast Cancer Treatment

October 21, 2016

Hayes applies their industry-standard rating to the research for two methods of accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI).

Lansdale, PA—Hayes, Inc., a leading provider of unbiased health technology assessments and consulting services, has released a report regarding the efficacy of using three-dimensional conformal external beam radiotherapy (3D-CRT) or intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for APBI in women who have had a partial mastectomy, or lumpectomy, and no signs of locoregional spread. The treatments became more common in the early 2000s as an alternative to whole-breast irradiation (WBI) and continue to be assessed in clinical trials today.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and a leading cause of cancer-related death among women worldwide. Approximately 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. In 2016, approximately 246,660 women in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer (stages I to IV), 61,000 women will be diagnosed with noninvasive (in situ) carcinoma, and 40,450 women will die from breast cancer (, 2016).

“Traditional WBI has a decades-long track record of effectiveness,” says Michelle Ostrander, PhD, Product Manager, Medical Technology Directory at Hayes. “But the course of treatment is lengthy and potentially exposes adjacent organs such as the lungs and the heart to radiation. The 3D-CRT or IMRT treatments deliver a higher dose of radiation to a more localized area and decreases the time and duration of treatment as compared to WBI.”

A concern addressed in the report deals with the localization of 3D-CRT and IMRT. While APBI using these methods may be a reasonable alternative to WBI, they do not treat any possible existing cancer cells in the remaining regions of the breast. Additionally, APBI may carry an increased risk of complications, particularly skin toxicity, and it is still unclear as to whether it actually yields improvements in quality of life.

“What contributes to these uncertainties,” Dr. Ostrander continues, “is the relatively small number of studies and overall low quality of the available evidence. In addition, long-term follow-up beyond 5 years for key health outcomes including rates of tumor recurrence, survival, and breast cancer mortality is not yet available for 3D-CRT or IMRT when compared with WBI.”

Dr. Ostrander also noted that there are additional methods of APBI, but that there seems to be no clear standardization for which treatment a provider or hospital chooses to utilize. Hayes will release a report on one such alternative, brachytherapy, in November.

Click here to request the full 3D-CRT and IMRT report.