According to a latest study, radiation implants are as powerful in treating early stage breast cancer as external beam radiation. Brachytherapy involves implanting a radiation source into a tumour so that a continuous dose of cancer-killing radiotherapy is received by the patient. Researchers at William Beaumont Hospital, Michigan found that it has been used with some success in prostate cancer.
A group of 200 women were assigned to either a lose dose or a high dose implant, placed in the lumpectomy cavity after surgery for early stage breast cancer. Follow-up suggested that five year outcomes are similar to those for the more conventional external beam radiotherapy. However, longer term follow up will be needed to fully assess the effectiveness of the brachytherapy approach to breast cancer.