Minimally Invasive Early-Stage Breast Cancer Treatment

Significant advancements have been made in recent years in the detection and treatment of breast cancer. Patients now have less-invasive, breast-conserving options available to them with valuable benefits. Studies of early-stage breast cancer treatment have shown that combining a lumpectomy with radiation therapy results in the same survival outcomes as a total breast removal or mastectomy.

Temecula Valley Hospital offers intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) for women who have been diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. This option enables you to complete both surgery and radiation therapy at the same time.

If you need a referral to a physician at Temecula Valley Hospital, call our free physician referral service at 855-859-5203 or search our online directory.

What is Breast IORT?

Breast IORT is an advanced, patient-friendly radiation treatment option. With IORT, a complete, concentrated dose of radiation is delivered in one treatment during surgery. Traditional external beam radiation therapy involves daily radiation treatments for six to eight weeks, while IORT with the Xoft System can be completed in minutes.

IORT 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, carefully destroying cancer cells and reducing the risk of damage to nearby healthy tissue including the heart, lungs and ribs. This helps minimize potential side effects which are more common with whole breast irradiation.

Benefits of IORT

IORT offers patients a less-invasive, breast-conserving option with valuable benefits including:

  • Targeted treatment
  • Fewer side effects
  • Reduced costs
  • Increased convenience
  • Improved quality of life

How the Procedure Is Performed

Radiation oncologists and surgeons work together to administer breast IORT in just five simple steps:

  1. A surgeon will remove the cancer while preserving the remaining breast tissue.
  2. Immediately after the cancer is removed, a small inflatable balloon is placed inside the surgical cavity.
  3. The miniaturized X-ray source is placed in the applicator and energized to deliver radiation for a prescribed amount of time.
  4. Radiation is delivered while medical personnel remain in the room.
  5. When the treatment is complete, the X-ray source is turned off. All devices are removed and the surgeon will complete the operation.

Am I a Candidate for IORT?

A discussion with your surgeon about breast IORT, as well as other treatment options, is necessary to determine if you are a candidate. A growing body of favorable clinical data supports the use of IORT in patients meeting specific selection criteria. A peer-reviewed study has shown a single-fraction radiation treatment delivered at the time of breast-conserving surgery results in similar recurrence rates when compared to external beam radiation therapy.

Additional Resources