A Comparison of Intra-operative Radiotherapy Boost With External Beam Radiotherapy Boost in Early Breast Cancer.

  • End date
    Apr 22, 2022
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University College, London
Updated on 22 January 2021


TARGIT-Boost is an international randomised clinical trial designed to test the hypothesis that the tumour bed boost delivered as a single dose of targeted intraoperative radiotherapy (TARGIT-B) is superior to the conventional course of external beam radiotherapy boost (EBRT-Boost), especially in women with high risk of local recurrence. It is a pragmatic trial in which each participating centre can use the local predefined inclusion/exclusion criteria for entry into the trial. Only centres with access to the Intrabeam (Carl Zeiss) are eligible to enter patients into the trial.

Eligible patients are those with a higher risk of local recurrence after breast conserving surgery.

After giving consent patients are randomised to either TARGIT Boost or EBRT Boost. All patients will receive whole breast EBRT. They may receive any other adjuvant treatments as deemed necessary. The protocol recommends that patients be followed at six monthly intervals for three years and then annually.

The primary endpoint is ipsilateral breast recurrence rate. Secondary endpoints are relapse-free survival, site of recurrence, overall survival (breast-cancer specific and non-breast cancer deaths) patient satisfaction and quality of life.


DESIGN: A pragmatic multi-centre randomised clinical trial to test whether TARGeted Intraoperative radioTherapy as a tumour bed Boost (TARGIT-B) is superior in terms of local relapse within the treated breast compared with standard post-operative external beam radiotherapy boost in women undergoing breast conserving therapy who have a higher risk of local recurrence. Patients can be entered before the primary surgery or in a smaller proportion of cases, post-pathology. SETTING: Specialist breast units in UK, USA, Canada, Australia and Europe; 31 centres currently recruiting in the TARGIT-A trial and several are ready to join. TARGET POPULATION: Breast cancer patients suitable for breast conserving surgery, but with a high risk of local recurrence. Details of inclusion and exclusion are given in part 2. Briefly the patients should be either younger than 45 or if older, need to have certain pathological features that confer a high risk of local recurrence of breast cancer. HEALTH TECHNOLOGIES BEING ASSESSED. The TARGIT Technique: The Intrabeam (Carl Zeiss, FDA approved and CE marked) is a miniature electron beam-driven source which provides a point source of low energy X-rays (50kV maximum) at the tip of a 3.2mm diameter tube. The radiation source is inserted into the tumour bed immediately after excision of the tumour and switched on for 20-35 minutes to provide intra-operative radiotherapy accurately targeted to the tissues that are at highest risk of local recurrence. The physics, dosimetry and early clinical applications of this soft x-ray device have been well studied. For use in the breast, the technique was first developed and piloted at University College London. The radiation source is surrounded by a spherical applicator, specially designed (and available in various sizes) to produce a uniform field of radiation at its surface, enabling delivery of an accurately calculated dose to a prescribed depth. It is inserted in the tumour bed and apposed to it with surgical sutures and/or other means. As the x-rays rapidly attenuate the dose to more distant tissues is reduced; this also allows it to be used in standard operating theatres. 20 Gy is delivered to the tumour bed surface in 20-35 minutes, after which the radiation is switched off, the applicator removed, and the wound closed in the normal way. This simple technique has potentially several advantages over convential external beam radiotherapy, interstitial implantation of radioactive wires or conformal external beam radiotherapy. The first pilot of twenty-five cases was at performed at UCL using TARGIT technique as a replacement for the boost dose of radiotherapy; full dose external beam treatment was subsequently given. The phase II study of 300 patients was published and recently updated with long term data along with favourable toxicity and cosmetic outcome results of individual cohorts. A mathematical model of TARGIT developed recently (funded by Cancer Research UK) suggests that it could be superior to conventional radiotherapy. Translational research has found that TARGIT impairs the surgical-trauma-stimulated proliferation and invasiveness of breast cancer cells. This effect of radiotherapy may act synergistically with its tumouricidal effect yielding a superior result. MEASUREMENT OF COST AND OUTCOME: Patient assessments will be clinical examination (6 monthly x 3 years then yearly x 10 years) and mammography (yearly). with ulstrasound (if needed) . Primary outcome: histologically/cytologically proven local recurrence. Secondary: site of relapse in the breast, overall survival, local toxicity (RTOG and LENT SOMA criteria), cosmesis, quality of life, patient satisfaction and health economics. The cost and cost-effectiveness of TARGIT versus EBRT, both as boost, will be calculated from a NHS and personal social services (PSS) perspective. Costs directly incurred by patients will also be assesed, since EBRT as a boost is likely to impose additional time and travel expense to patients and families.

Condition Early Breast Cancer
Treatment Boost to the tumour bed
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT01792726
SponsorUniversity College, London
Last Modified on22 January 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

At least one of these criteria must be satisfied
Less than 46 years of age
More than 45 years of age, but with one of the following poor prognostic factors
lymphovascular invasion
gross nodal involvement (not micrometastasis)
more than one tumour in the breast but still suitable for breast conserving surgery through a single specimen
More than 45 years of age, but with at least two of the following poor prognostic factors
ER and/or PgR negative
Grade 3 histology
Positive margins at first excision
Those patients with large tumours which have responded to neo-adjuvant chemo- or hormone therapy in an attempt to shrink the tumour and are suitable for breast conserving surgery as a result
Lobular carcinoma or Extensive Intraductal Component (EIC)
A list (one to many) of high risk factors are present (as predefined in the policy document) that give a high risk of local recurrence
Patients with either HER2 positive or HER2 negative can be included

Exclusion Criteria

Bilateral breast cancer at the time of diagnosis
Patients with any severe concomitant disease that may limit their life expectancy
Previous history of malignant disease does not preclude entry if the expectation of relapse-free survival at 10 years is 90% or greater (e.g., non-melanoma skin cancer, CIN, etc)
No more than 30 days can have elapsed between last breast cancer surgery (not axillary) and randomisation for patients in the post-pathology stratification unless part of a specific clinical trial that addresses the question of timing or tumour bed can be reliably identified, e.g., by ultrasound
Clear my responses

How to participate?

Step 1 Connect with a study center
What happens next?
  • You can expect the study team to contact you via email or phone in the next few days.
  • Sign up as volunteer to help accelerate the development of new treatments and to get notified about similar trials.

You are contacting

Investigator Avatar

Primary Contact



Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

Learn more

If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

Learn more

Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

Learn more

Similar trials to consider


Not finding what you're looking for?

Every year hundreds of thousands of volunteers step forward to participate in research. Sign up as a volunteer and receive email notifications when clinical trials are posted in the medical category of interest to you.

Sign up as volunteer

user name

Added by • 



Reply by • Private

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur, adipisicing elit. Ipsa vel nobis alias. Quae eveniet velit voluptate quo doloribus maxime et dicta in sequi, corporis quod. Ea, dolor eius? Dolore, vel!

  The passcode will expire in None.

No annotations made yet

Add a private note
  • abc Select a piece of text from the left.
  • Add notes visible only to you.
  • Send it to people through a passcode protected link.
Add a private note