News | June 22, 2010

Facilities Named ‘Centers of Excellence’ for Advanced Breast Cancer Treatment

June 22, 2010 – Nineteen facilities in the Mid-Atlantic region have been named Centers of Excellence in accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) for their use of the SAVI applicator, an advanced therapy for breast cancer as part of breast conservation therapy. The SAVI applicator can provide important advantages for women with early-stage breast cancer.

The Center of Excellence designation recognizes these facilities’ dedication to education, training and experience in APBI. To qualify, physicians, medical physicists and clinical staff were required to complete a comprehensive training and education program to demonstrate proficiency in delivering radiation therapy with SAVI. The facilities have also expressed a commitment to patient education, advocacy and awareness of advanced breast cancer treatments.

The commitment of these centers and physicians to offer the SAVI applicator extends the benefits of breast conservation therapy to a larger group of women and results in improved clinical outcomes. Breast conservation therapy includes lumpectomy – the surgical removal of the cancerous tissue within the breast plus tissue immediately around the tumor – followed by radiation. This approach is an alternative to mastectomy, which removes the entire breast and is often followed by breast reconstruction.

The SAVI applicator delivers a form of radiation therapy known as breast brachytherapy. This approach, which targets the tumor site from inside the breast, is becoming a more widely used alternative to traditional radiation. Breast brachytherapy typically involves two treatments per day for only five days. This shorter time frame makes brachytherapy far more convenient than traditional, external-beam radiation, which is delivered five times a week and takes six or seven weeks.

Centers of Excellence:
• Hahnemann University Hospital Cancer Center in Philadelphia
• 21st Century Oncology in Woodbury, N.J.
• Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore
• Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Va.
• Virtua Memorial Hospital in Voorhees, N.J.
• Helen F. Graham Cancer Center, Christiana in Newark, Del.
• Herbert L. Hanna Center for Oncology Care in Indiana, Pa.

Surgeons Receiving the Distinguished Achievement Award:
• Paul G. Curcillo II, M.D., and Ari D. Brooks, M.D., Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia
• Michele Fantazzio, M.D., and Diane Gillum, M.D., Breast Specialty Care in Voorhees, N.J.
• Gauri Bedi, M.D., The Hoffberger Breast Center in BaltimoreNineteen facilities in the mid-Atlantic region have been named Centers of Excellence in accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) for their use of the SAVI applicator, an advanced therapy for breast cancer as part of breast conservation therapy. The SAVI applicator can provide important advantages for women with early-stage breast cancer.
• Stephanie Akbari, M.D., Center for Breast Health in Arlington, Va.
• David C. Weintritt, M.D., Surgical Specialists of Northern Virginia in Lorton, Va.
• Diana Dickson-Witmer, M.D., and Emily Penman, M.D., The Breast Surgeons at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center in Newark, Del.
• Mami Martin, M.D., Metropolitan Surgical Associates in Arlington, Va.
• Gerard A. Garguilo, M.D., Johnstown Breast Center in Johnstown, Pa.
• Lori Chapleskie Alfonse, M.D., Mercy Suburban Hospital/Elle Center for Breast Health in Norristown, Pa.

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