September 25, 2017 |
Single-Dose Breast Cancer Treatment Eliminates Post Surgical Radiation
July 5, 2014  | 

Chicago, IL - Women with early-stage breast cancer may now receive a one-dose radiation treatment at the same time as lumpectomy surgery, eliminating the need to return to the hospital daily for up to six weeks for post surgical radiation treatments.

The relatively new treatment option available at the Rush Comprehensive Breast Cancer Clinic, intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT), delivers one precise, concentrated dose of radiation to the tumor site immediately following surgical removal of the cancer.

After the breast cancer is removed, a catheter-like device with a balloon at the tip is inserted into the lupectomy cavity. The balloon is inflated with saline and the radiation therapy source docks precisely into the catheter to deliver radiation to the breast tissue surrounding the cavity where the tumor was removed, while avoiding radiation to nearby organs. At the end of radiation treatment, the balloon is deflated and easily removed and the cavity is closed.

“We currently perform IORT for women with early-stage breast cancer. However, there is exciting research about using this modality for other types of patients, including those with breast cancer recurrences or those who are undergoing a nipple-preserving mastectomy” said Dr. Katherine Kopkash, assistant professor of surgery, Rush University Medical Center.

Typically, breast cancers treated with a lumpectomy require radiation therapy following surgery to ensure the lowest risk of recurrence. Standard radiation treatment requires patients to return after healing from surgery to begin daily radiation treatment to the entire breast five days per week, for a total of three to six weeks. Continue>

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