The innovative procedure delivers an entire course of radiation therapy to the patient in the operating room following a lumpectomy, thereby eliminating the need for what is typically weeks of post-surgery radiation.
For patients this means shorter treatment times, fewer side effects, reduced costs, added convenience and an improved quality of life. The procedure also limits radiation exposure to the heart. Candidates for breast IORT include selected patients with early-stage breast cancer who are age 50 and older.
“The IORT procedure uses a miniaturized X-ray source to deliver a full course of targeted radiation from inside the body, directly within the tumor cavity where the cancer is most likely to recur,” said Dr. Michael Wesson, co-director of Radiation Oncology at Valley-Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Care and clinical assistant professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “This destroys cancer cells while reducing the risk of damage to nearby healthy tissues, including the heart, lungs and ribs.
“This helps minimize potential side effects, which are more common with whole breast irradiation,” said Dr. Chad DeYoung, co-director of Radiation Oncology at Valley and clinical assistant professor at ISMMS.
“The availability of IORT at Valley is an exciting advancement that offers a new option for women in northern New Jersey who are diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer,” said Dr. Laura Klein, medical director of the Breast Center and clinical assistant professor at ISMMS. “For women who are appropriate candidates, breast IORT greatly reduces the treatment time, helping them get back to their normal routine that much faster.”
To learn more or to find out if you are a candidate for breast IORT, call Valley’s Breast Cancer Navigators at 201-634-5557.