Breast Cancer Basics: Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (APBI) with Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)

Whenever possible, I offer my patients with early stage breast cancer a very short, 5-day radiation technique, at Northwest Cancer Clinic, called “accelerated partial breast irradiation” (APBI). If eligibility criteria are met, APBI is a great alternative to the more common course of 15-20 days of treatment, where the entire breast is radiated. APBI, on the other hand, treats a much smaller volume of tissue…simply, the lumpectomy cavity-alone. Importantly, the effectiveness of APBI is similar to the longer whole breast treatment.

In the first video, we are demonstrating a non-invasive APBI technique in which I am able to target a dissolvable marker (“BioZorb”) that is implanted by the breast surgeon into the lumpectomy cavity at the time of surgery.

BioZorb Marker

In the second video, we are demonstrating how the use of a brachytherapy catheter device (i.e. SAVI, Mammosite) can be used.


The bottomline is that a short, 5-day partial breast RT course is a good option for many patients with small, early stage breast cancers.