Seed therapy has been used for years to treat prostate cancer successfully, Kuske noted, and was even used years ago to treat breast cancer. But the technology has improved greatly, said Kuske, who also serves as a consultant for Nucletron, a radiotherapy company, and Cianna Medical, which makes a breast brachytherapy device.
The treatment may appeal to women who don't want to have their augmented breast removed, said Dr. Christy Russell, associate professor of medicine at the University of Southern California's Norris Cancer Center in Los Angeles and chair of the American Cancer Society's Breast Cancer Advisory Committee.
Women with augmented breasts who develop breast cancer can undergo mastectomy and reconstruction, she said, but some women want to keep the augmented breast instead.
"It's a fine study," Russell said. "But his follow-up is too short, and there are too few patients." More study is needed, she said.
Longer follow-up is definitely needed, agreed Dr. Nayana Vora, professor of radiation oncology, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Duarte, Calif. "Most capsular contracture happens within two years after radiation therapy," she noted.
Many women, she said, will still opt for mastectomy and reconstruction. But the brachytherapy option may be an alternative for those who don't want to give up their augmented breasts.
But, Vora stressed, this is only for women with small tumors, probably less than 3 centimeters in diameter. "I would not offer this to the patient with a larger tumor," she said, because the radiation oncologist would need to treat more of the breast, thus increasing the risk of capsular contracture.
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