News | September 30, 2008

Hospital Applies Radiation Therapy During Lumpectomy

September 30, 2008 - The Comprehensive Breast Health Center at Little Company of Mary Hospital is now applying intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) to deliver dose of radiation therapy in the operating room at the time of surgery (lumpectomy) for patients with early stage breast cancer.

The first treatment was performed on a breast cancer patient as part of a clinical trial at the Hospital. Under the direction of Olga Ivanov, M.D., medical director for Little Company of Mary’s Comprehensive Breast Health Center and Adam Dickler, M.D., radiation oncologist at Little Company of Mary Hospital, a patient diagnosed with early stage breast cancer became the first patient to undergo the new treatment.

Performing IORT utilizing Xoft Inc.’s Axxent Electronic Brachytherapy (eBx) system uses a miniaturized X-ray source that can deliver localized and targeted radiation treatment. Electronic Brachytherapy is designed to minimize radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissue and is the only IORT technology that enables physicians and treating professionals to remain in the operating room with the patient.

Immediately after Ms. Howley underwent the lumpectomy, performed by Dr. Ivanov, Dr. Dickler delivered the radiation treatment directly to the surgical site in the operating room. When Marianne awoke, she not only had her tumor removed, but just completed her entire course of radiation therapy, which normally takes five to seven weeks.

Intraoperative treatment potentially reduces the time required for radiation therapy for early stage breast cancer by delivering it immediately during surgery. As a result, tens of thousands of patients will have greater access to therapy that is delivered more easily and conveniently. This may accelerate patient choice of breast sparing lumpectomy surgery with radiation therapy over the alternative of a full mastectomy.

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