Accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) has been under clinical investigation for more than 15 years. There are several technical approaches that are clinically established, e.g. brachytherapy, intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT), or external-beam radiotherapy. The understanding of the underlying biology, optimal technical procedures, patient selection criteria, and imaging changes during follow-up has increased enormously. After completion of several phase III trials using brachytherapy or IORT, APBI is currently increasingly used either in phase IV studies, registries, or in selected patients outside of clinical studies. Consensus statements about suitable patients are available from several international and national societies like ASTRO, ESTRO, and DEGRO. One may expect that 15-25% of patients undergoing breast-conserving surgery may qualify for APBI, i.e. patients with small invasive ductal breast cancer without clinical lymph node involvement.
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