INTRABEAM™ Radiotherapy System (IORT)
What is the INTRABEAM Radiotherapy System (IORT)?
Women with early stage breast cancer often have breast conserving surgery (or a lumpectomy) to remove the cancerous tumor, followed by five to seven weeks of external radiation therapy of the whole breast about one month later.
The INTRABEAM Radiotherapy System allows physicians to offer an alternative treatment called targeted IntraOperative Radiation Therapy or IORT treatment. This new procedure greatly reduces radiation exposure and the length of treatment time by delivering a single treatment of radiation therapy from inside the breast while the patient is still on the operating table.
How is the IORT procedure performed?
Immediately following the surgeon’s removal of the tumor, the INTRABEAM applicator tip is placed inside the cavity where the tumor was located, and radiation is delivered for about 30 minutes to destroy any remaining tumor cells. To ensure uniformity of the IORT, an internal radiation monitor (IRM) provides real-time measurement of the treatment dose, which can be precisely tailored for each patient. After the IORT dose is delivered, the surgeon closes the incision and the tumor cavity.
What are the advantages of IORT?
The newly developed INTRABEAM IORT mobile irradiation unit delivers a single, localized dose of low-energy radiation during surgery from inside the tumor cavity to destroy any remaining tumor cells, without damaging the surrounding healthy breast tissue. As an alternative to external radiation boost therapy, single treatment INTRABEAM radiotherapy offers several advantages:
- Provides localized, precise targeting of any remaining cancer cells with minimal side effects
- Minimizes radiation exposure and damage to healthy tissue and organs
- Allows for customizing IORT treatment
- Takes about 30 minutes, replacing the external radiation boost treatment
INTRABEAM radiotherapy is given to replace the external beam “boost” dose that is usually administered at the conclusion of the whole breast external radiation therapy. Incorporating INTRABEAM radiotherapy into external radiation treatment can reduce its duration by up to two weeks.
Is IORT a good choice for you?
INTRABEAM radiotherapy is a viable treatment option for patients meeting specific treatment conditions. Talk with your doctor to see if IORT might be right for you.
Choose Alta Bates Summit Medical Center
You will be provided with the most advanced methods for the early detection and treatment of cancer by an exceptional team of clinical experts committed to treating you with the greatest skill, respect and compassion.
Through our Comprehensive Cancer Services, you will experience a complete continuum of technologically advanced cancer treatment – the latest in diagnostics, medical technology, research, education and psychological services all in the comfort of a community setting. Alta Bates Summit is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.
To find a doctor who uses the INTRABEAM Radiotherapy System, call our Health Match Physician Referral line at 510-869-6777 or use our online Find a Doctor search tool.