Single radiation to treat breast cancer

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The researchers from an international TARGIT research group found a new method of radiotherapy for breast cancer in which the treatment can be reduced to a single radiation exposure.

The initial results of the study are presented during the annual meeting of the ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology) in Chicago.

The radiation is administered during the surgery directly after removal of the tumor. In this way, the affected tissue in the tumor bed is irradiated from the inside out.

The INTRABEAM radiotherapy system from Carl Zeiss is used for this purpose. The study is clarifying whether the single boost can reduce the risk of recurrence of the cancer in the affected breast as effectively as the traditional, 3-6-week method. On a random basis, one half of the women taking part receive conventional radiotherapy while the other half are treated intra-operatively.

This multinational prospective randomized clinical trial (TARGIT-A trial1) was launched in 2000 in which 28 centers from 9 countries participated.

TARGIT-A trial compared standard whole breast external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) with targeted intra-operative radiotherapy (TARGIT) given using INTRABEAM? after breast conserving surgery in patients aged 45 years and over with invasive ductal carcinoma. Local recurrence was the primary outcome measure. The original accrual goal of 2232 patients in the TARGIT-A trial, the first randomized clinical trial on partial breast irradiation using intra-operative radiotherapy, was reached in early this year.

The results of the study are published in the Lancet.

Source: CoActive Public Relations, USA

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