Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation

Less can be better: you will go back home knowing how to select and treat earlystage breast cancer patients with Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation.

The course is primarily intended for specialists and trainees in the field of radiation and clinical oncology who are interested in extending their knowledge, specifically of the management of early stage and low risk breast cancer.

Course Director

Philip Poortmans, Radiation Oncologist, University of Antwerp, Antwerp (BE)



Sandra Hol, Radiotherapy Technologist,, Instituut Verbeeten, Tilburg (NL)

Tibor Major, Medical Physicist, National Institute of Oncology, Budapest (HU)

Icro Meattini, Radiation Oncologist, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Florence (IT)

Vratislav Strnad, Radiation Oncologist, University Hospital Erlangen, Erlangen, (DE)


Local Organizer

Vassilis Kouloulias, Radiation Oncologist, National Technical University of Athens


Accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) is rightfully becoming increasingly popular as a standard treatment option for early stage breast cancer. Numerous patients participated in several prospective randomised clinical trials using a wide variety of techniques. We expect that more long-term results will be presented in the coming years.

This course is planned to be organised in the even years and should be clearly distinguished from the multidisciplinary course that will continue to being organised in the odd years in Europe. As breast cancer is a very common cancer and APBI can be considered as a distinctive and standard approach in modern breast cancer treatment, we are confident that by organising both courses on an alternate basis we meet a clear need of the radiation oncology community.


This course dedicated to APBI will present only very few general issues of breast cancer and especially focus on patient selection and on the variety of techniques that can be used for the delivery of APBI. It will elaborate extensively on the technical aspects of the delivery of this specific form of radiation therapy, including optimal target volume delineation.

Apart from presentations, interactivity will be stimulated by organising clinical case discussions, target volume contouring exercises and debates. The faculty includes specialists in all technical approaches currently used for delivering APBI.

Course Content

  • Epidemiology: is the proportion of early stage low risk patients increasing?
  • Patient selection based on tumour- and patient-related factors
  • Local surgery: choices and techniques (including oncoplastic)
  • Target volume delineation with discussions based on homework
  • Practical treatment preparation and delivery tips and tricks
  • APBI techniques including external beam, intraoperative electron beam, interstitial, endocavitary brachytherapy and other techniques
  • Pre-operative APBI
  • Fractionation schedules
  • Combination of external beam APBI with advanced treatment techniques including IGRT and breathing control
  • Long-term effects including cosmetic outcome after APBI
  • Recent and on-going clinical trials
  • Clinical case discussions.


Before commencing this course participants should:

  • Have at least basic experience with all aspects of radiation therapy for breast cancer patients.

If the participants are not radiation/clinical oncologists (in training) they should be involved in the interdisciplinary and/or multidisciplinary case discussions and/or in work related to treating breast cancer patients

  • Participate on beforehand in the exercises on target volume delineation for APBI in breast cancer.

Teaching Methods

Approximately (spread over 3,5 days):

  • 21 hours of lectures, case discussions and debates
  • 4 hours of practical workshops for treatment preparation including contouring and treatment delivery.

Methods of Assessment

  • MCQ
  • Delineation exercise
  • Evaluation form.


Available here

Key Words

Breast cancer, radiation therapy, multidisciplinarity, breast conserving therapy, APBI, clinical trials, target volume delineation, side effects, quality of life.

Further Reading

Please consult the ESTRO website page of this course for further information.


Application for CME recognition will be submitted to the European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (EACCME), an institution of the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS). EACCME credits are recognised by the American Medical Association towards the Physicians Recognition Award (PRA). Information on the status of the applications can be obtained from the ESTRO office.


Titania Hotel 52
Panepistimiou Ave.
10678 Athens

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation in Europe and the travel restrictions put in place by different national governments and local institutions, ESTRO with the course faculty has decided not to go forward with a live course in Athens in December.

We do believe that we should offer a course and therefore we are planning to hold a virtual course on the same course dates. The faculty is currently working on the format of this new virtual course. We hope to publish all the information of the course by end October 2020.