Radiation Oncology

Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (APBI)

Although whole breast radiation therapy is the most common approach after breast conservation surgery, accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) gives early stage breast cancer patients effective alternatives that reduce treatment time.

APBI is a type of HDR brachytherapy that delivers radiation therapy to the breast after a lumpectomy for appropriate candidates. APBI does not treat the entire breast; it focuses on the part of the breast where the tumor was removed. This allows a smaller region to be radiated, which in turn results in less radiation to the lung, muscles, skin and the whole breast.

Several studies have shown that local recurrence rates are low with APBI and are comparable to those reported following whole breast irradiation.

Some of the benefits from APBI are:

  • Reducing treatment time to five days
  • Greater control over radiation delivery
  • Good to excellent cosmetic results for the majority of patients

Treatment is delivered using either HDR brachytherapy or external beam radiation. The radiation oncology experts at The Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment are leaders in using several brachytherapy devices that are implanted in the lumpectomy cavity. In fact, St. Joseph Hospital was the first cancer center named a SAVI® Center of Excellence in Orange County for expert use of the SAVI® applicator

Clinical Trials

St. Joseph Hospital Radiation Oncology has an active clinical trials program and is a member of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG). Click here to learn more about our breast program clinical trials.