Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) at Midwestern Regional Medical Center (Midwestern) Delivers Innovative New Radiation Treatment During Surgery

Dec 20, 2011, 09:46 ET from Cancer Treatment Centers of America

One single dose of IORT on Novac7 provides shorter treatment times

Zion, Ill., Dec. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Cancer Treatment Centers of America® at Midwestern Regional Medical Center announced today that it has added Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT), a breakthrough radiation treatment option for cancer patients undergoing surgery, and who also require radiation therapy.


This cutting edge radiation treatment is performed with a Novac7 by a team of surgical and radiation oncologists delivering a concentrated dose of radiation to a tumor site immediately after a tumor is removed, helping to destroy any microscopic tumor cells that might be left behind. IORT results in few side effects and offers patients better cosmetic results and improved quality of life, as additional radiation therapy is shortened or eliminated altogether for some patients. Compared to post-operative radiation, treatment times with IORT are considerably shorter—a single one-minute treatment during surgery versus as many as 3-6 weeks.

When Cindy Angotti of Bentleyville, PA was diagnosed with breast cancer she was quickly running out of medical leave. The speed of treatment with IORT was something Ms. Angotti very much appreciated and needed. Ms. Angotti said: "IORT was really the only treatment option that I was interested in and willing to pursue at this stage of my illness."

CTCA at Midwestern is among only a handful of hospitals in the United States to offer IORT using Novac7 mobile linear accelerator, technology manufactured by an Italian company. Novac7 is a mobile linear accelerator, which makes it possible for radiation oncologists at CTCA at Midwestern to use IORT to reach more areas of the body and treat more types of cancer.

"We use IORT to directly treat breast cancer tumor beds or residual tumors during surgery," states Dr. Stephen Ray, Medical Director of the Breast Center at CTCA at Midwestern Regional Medical Center. "It allows us to use oncoplastic surgery to restore the shape of the breast after IORT treatment. In addition, breast cancer patients undergoing IORT are potentially able to have another lumpectomy followed by radiation."

"This is a promising option for patients who have a recurrence or if a new tumor develops in a different part of the breast. Currently, lumpectomy patients who receive whole breast post-operative radiation therapy undergo mastectomy if they have local recurrence or a new tumor," said Dr. Ray.

Other medical and quality of life benefits of IORT are that healthy organs and tissues are spared. During IORT, a precise radiation dose is applied while shielding healthy tissues and structures, such as the skin that could be damaged due to traditional techniques. This allows for a higher dose of radiation to be delivered to the tumor bed while sparing normal surrounding tissues. Critical organs within the radiation field, such as the lungs and heart, can also be protected. 

For patients who are scheduled to receive additional radiation therapy following surgery, a boost of radiation using IORT can save 5-7 days of treatment postoperatively. After they have recovered from the surgical procedure, they can continue with the standard radiation treatment.

While IORT offers significant benefits to CTCA at Midwestern breast patients, it also offers valuable future potential for patients battling other cancer types, such as stomach, pancreatic, rectal, prostate, gynecological, head, neck and soft tissue sarcomas, especially retroperitoneal. 

"Patients must be surgical candidates in order to be eligible for IORT. IORT treatments in general are reserved for patients with early stage disease, and patients receiving IORT have a lower risk of cancer recurrences which helps prolong survival," said Ray. 

For additional information, visit or call 1-800-333-CTCA.   

About Cancer Treatment Centers of America

CTCA is a growing network of regional destination hospitals specializing in complex and advance-stage cancer care. CTCA provides a comprehensive, fully integrated and individualized cancer treatment experience at hospitals located in suburban Chicago, Philadelphia, suburban Phoenix and Tulsa, with a fifth hospital opening in Atlanta in the summer of 2012. The Patient Empowered Care® model at CTCA places patients at the center of their care, encouraging and enabling patients and their families to take an active role in treatment decision-making. For more information about CTCA, visit

SOURCE Cancer Treatment Centers of America