In the last decade, a new type of radiation therapy, given at the time of surgery, has proven beneficial for a growing number of women with breast cancer. Known as INTRABEAM intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT), this clinically documented treatment delivers targeted radiation therapy for breast conserving surgery patients with early-stage breast cancer.
Understanding Intraoperative Radiation Therapy
For more information, please click and download our informative booklet ‘Understanding Intraoperative Radiation Therapy – A Patient Guide’, designed to help guide patients on which treatment will be the best for them.
How is the IORT procedure performed?
Immediately following the surgeon’s removal of the cancer, the INTRABEAM applicator tip is placed inside the cavity where the cancer was located, and radiation is delivered for about 30 minutes to destroy any remaining cancer cells. After the IORT dose is delivered, the surgeon closes the tumor cavity, then the incision.
IORT can also be delivered in the first few weeks after your surgery during a simple day case procedure where the cavity is opened, treatment delivered and wound closed again.
What are the advantages of IORT?
As an alternative to external radiation boost therapy, single treatment INTRABEAM radiotherapy offers several advantages:
- Provides localised, precise targeting of any remaining cancer cells with minimal side effects
- Minimizes radiation exposure and damage to healthy tissue and organs such as lungs and heart
- Allows for customizing IORT treatment
- Takes about 30 minutes, replacing the usual 25 sessions of radiotherapy.
- No need to travel to a radiotherapy centre.
Is IORT a good choice for you?
INTRABEAM radiotherapy is a viable treatment option for for selected patients with breast cancer.
Talk with your doctor to see if IORT might be right for you.
Where is this treatment performed?
Southern Cross Hospital, North Harbour, Auckland
Southern Cross Hospital, 131 Bealey Avenue, Christchurch