"This radiation technique is an excellent option for women with early breast tumors, especially those who are unable to have the standard six-week course of radiation, due to time constraints," said Martin Keisch, M.D., lead author of the study and a radiation oncologist at Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Center in Miami Beach, Florida. "There are 100,000 women per year in this country alone that could benefit from this treatment."
Many women with breast cancer are able to undergo breast conserving therapy to keep their breast after treatment. Typically, this means they first have surgery to remove the cancer (a lumpectomy) followed by a course of radiation therapy to kill any cancer cells that may remain. The standard radiation therapy treatment takes a few minutes, every day, Monday through Friday, for five to seven weeks. Radiation oncologists are experimenting with ways to shorten the length of treatment.
During this type of breast brachytherapy, after the tumor has been removed from the breast, the doctor inserts a small balloon into the cavity. That balloon is then attached to a catheter to deliver high doses of radiation to the breast. The treatment reduces the amount of time required for radiation therapy from six weeks to only one. Brachytherapy is one of several methods of accelerated partial breast irradiation, which treats only the area surrounding the tumor, instead of the whole breast.
The multi-center prospective trial involves 43 breast cancer patients who were trea
Contact: Beth Bukata
American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology