New radiation therapy may improve breast cancer survival rates

4 October 2005

Sunnyvale, Calif., USA. Intraoperative Radiation Treatment (IORT) is a new radiation therapy that may improve the local control of breast cancer significantly. It can preserve the breast and may also reduce the spread of the disease.

IORT is the direct application of radiation to the tumour or tumour bed while a patient is undergoing surgery for breast cancer.  It starts therapy at the time of surgery when residual tumour cells are most active and can improve survival rates.

Developed by Intraop Medical Corporation, the Mobetron(R) is an FDA-approved innovative machine that delivers intraoperative radiation therapy in a regular OR. IORT is believed to be an effective treatment to improve cancer survival rates because a single two-minute treatment can often eliminate several weeks of conventional pre- or post-operative external beam radiation therapy.

Experts at Intraop devised the first mobile device for delivering radiation in the operating room without the necessity of adding extensive radiation shielding.

"There is a typical wait of 4-6 weeks after lumpectomy before the initiation of adjuvant radiation therapy. During this waiting period, there is ample opportunity for the microscopic tumour cells that remain in the breast cavity to reimplant and become viable or to disseminate elsewhere in the body, resulting in metastases," said Don Goer, Chief Executive Officer for Intraop Medical Corporation.

IORT is being used for breast cancer in Europe where over 2500 women have been treated, as well as in the United States — The Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale Arizona and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are two of four U.S. medical centers that have initiated a breast cancer IORT program due in part to the encouraging early results in Europe.

The Mobetron is FDA approved in the United States and has received the equivalent foreign approvals.

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