For Some Patients INTRABEAM Could be a One-Shot Alternative to Six Weeks of Radiation after Lumpectomy
WASHINGTON, April 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For the first time, breast cancer patients in the Washington, DC area have an opportunity to skip the traditional six weeks of radiation after breast cancer surgery and get just one dose in the operating room immediately after having their cancer removed. Making this possible is INTRABEAM Intraoperative Radiotherapy (IORT) a technology now being offered to patients at both MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and MedStar Washington Hospital Center.
Mary Shanholtzer, 68, of Maryland had a one centimeter lump in her breast that was found by a mammogram. She had a lumpectomy in January 2013 with INTRABEAM IORT given right in the operating room while she was still asleep. Mary's lymph nodes were negative for cancer, making her a perfect candidate for INTRABEAM IORT. "What attracted me to the IORT is that it's a one shot deal," said Mary. "Six or seven weeks of radiation would have been burdensome for me and working full time, all that travel would have been a problem.""We're offering INTRABEAM to a select group of lumpectomy patients based on their age, the size and type of tumor," said Shawna Willey, MD, director of the MedStar Regional Breast Health Program. "This is encouraging news for patients who now can wake up from breast surgery and know their radiation treatment is complete instead of facing six weeks of up to 30 radiation treatments." Up until now, the standard treatment for those having a lumpectomy involved waiting four weeks after the initial surgery and then starting a five to six week whole-breast radiation regimen.