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This European trial tries to find out, if in the subgroup of women with breast cancer or DCIS with a very low risk of local recurrence, the conventional whole breast irradiation (WBI) can be replaced with a partial breast irradiation (PBI), restricted to the former tumor area only. PBI is performed by the implantation of small plastic tubes in general/local anesthesia in the so called tumor bed - the former cancer carrying area. Then a little radiation source is able to reach the tissue at risk via these tubes. With this so called interstitial radiotherapy or brachytherapy the radiation dose can be applied in only one week, in contrast to the six weeks lasting WBI.
 
       
 

On the basis of the available scientific knowledge we expect that partial breast irradiation leads to sufficient tumor control in the ipsilateral breast. A 100-percent-security is not reachable, but we can expect a very low percentage of local recurrences. The advantages of partial breast irradiation are a short treatment duration and a lower rate of side effects at the skin surface.
The trial compares the effectiveness of PBI with that of WBI. It is a "randomized" trial, that means that the patient will be assigned at random (by computer) into one of the two treatment groups (PBI or WBI). The trial is supported by the Deutsche Krebshilfe.