Radiation Breakthrough Gives Breast Cancer Patients Hope in Single Dose

Cancer Treatment Centers of America will be First in Country to Offer New Technology from Italy

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- A radiation breakthrough to treat breast cancer patients in one day, as opposed to the current average of six weeks, has arrived at Cancer Treatment Centers of America(R) (CTCA) in Philadelphia. CTCA will become the first in the country to offer this treatment option using the Novac7 technology from Rome, Italy.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20091118/DC13290 )

Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT) technology allows patients to receive radiation treatment, delivered with the same power and precision as other advanced radiation techniques, while still in the operating room undergoing surgery, often without any additional outpatient radiation treatment visits, and with fewer side effects. IORT also offers patients better cosmetic results and improved quality of life as the need for additional radiation treatment is minimized or eliminated altogether.

"Women in Italy have had access to the therapeutic and quality of life benefits of IORT for years, but until this point, traditional breast cancer treatments in the United States involved surgery followed by 5-6 weeks of radiation or chemotherapy," said Director of Radiation Oncology Pablo Lavagnini, MD. "Sadly many women don't have access to radiation treatments and those who do are left struggling to juggle a demanding treatment regimen with work and family obligations at home. IORT offers a possible solution."

So how does it work? IORT requires a team approach. While most women with early stage breast cancer are eligible for this procedure, the first step is determining that the patient is a candidate for surgery and IORT. After the surgeon has removed the tumor with a partial mastectomy or lumpectomy, the radiation team will enter the operating room and deliver a single dose of radiation using a mobile linear accelerator. In two to three minutes, the radiation is precisely delivered to the area where the tumor was removed, shielding or protecting normal tissues from potential radiation damage, allowing a full dose of radiation to be delivered where needed and sparing the surrounding structures.

While IORT will offer significant medical and quality of life benefits for breast cancer patients, it will also be a valuable tool for many patients battling other cancer types including: head and neck, stomach, pancreas, rectum, gynecological, prostate and soft tissue sarcomas (especially retroperitoneal). For patients who must receive additional radiation therapy following surgery, they can receive a "boost" of radiation during IORT, shielding the surrounding tissues from radiation damage while allowing a higher dose to the area requiring treatment.

Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia expects to begin treating breast cancer patients with IORT by the end of January 2010, as the latest addition to the hospital's fully integrative model of care. For more information, visit cancercenter.com.

About Cancer Treatment Centers of America:

Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) is a national network of hospitals providing a comprehensive, fully integrative approach to cancer treatment. CTCA serves patients with advanced cancer from all 50 states at facilities located in suburban Chicago, Philadelphia, Tulsa and suburban Phoenix. For more information about Cancer Treatment Centers of America, go to cancercenter.com.

SOURCE Cancer Treatment Centers of America



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