Hypothesis: Although postoperative fractionated radiotherapy (PFR) remains the standard method for conservative treatment of breast carcinomas, widespread experience in the use of full-dose intraoperative radiotherapy with electrons (ELIOT) merits its application in novel clinical situations, although long-term results of ongoing clinical trials have not been fully reported. Design: Retrospective case series. Setting: Division of breast surgery in a comprehensive cancer center. Patients: From June 1999 to September 2003 ELIOT was used as the sole radiotherapy in 355 patients with unifocal invasive carcinoma who were candidates for breast-conserving surgery and most of whom were participating in an ongoing institutional trial. In a group of patients in whom PFR was not considered safe or feasible (because of previous mantle field irradiation for Hodgkin disease, cosmetic breast augmentation, severe cardiopathy, large hypertrophic scarring from skin burns, vitiligo, and geographic or social obstacles), ELIOT was performed outside of the ongoing trial. Results: No particular adverse effects, unusual acute reactions, late sequelae, and local or systemic events were noted in these patients after a mean follow-up of 27.3 months. Conclusions: In appropriated selected patients, when it is critical to perform PFR after breast-conserving therapy, a single dose of ELIOT may be considered to avoid mastectomy, reduce potential treatment toxicity, improve quality of life, and resolve logistic problems. The long-term results of ongoing clinical trials will further delineate patients in whom ELIOT may replace PFR.
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