Whole-breast irradiation, as part of breast-conservation therapy (BCT), has been well-established the last decades. Nonetheless, most local recurrences found after BCT are within or close to the tumour bed. This led to the concept of partial breast irradiation (PBI), delivering the radiation dose to a decreased target volume, thereby lowering exposure to the organs at risk and hence potentially minimizing late adverse effects. This became increasingly important with growing survivorship of patients with early-stage breast cancer over the past decades and the consideration of late adverse effects is gaining more importance. In this review, we will present an overview of the current literature, techniques to deliver PBI and we try to establish whether there is a place for PBI in early-stage breast cancer treatment.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2020;14(4):140–45)