Just in time for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, there's very promising news to offer women faced with the hard choice of breast cancer treatment.
A relatively new radiation therapy called IORT (Intraoperative Electron Radiation Therapy) has just come through a 51-month follow-up with exciting results, achieving a perfect - 100% - score in preventing the regrowth of local malignant tumors. (A typical recurrence rate in a five-year time frame is between 4 and 7%.) The study’s control group, receiving a more traditional external, post-surgical radiation boost, had a recurrence rate of 6.4% after 81 months.
IORT is the administration of electron beam radiation directly to the open site of the excised tumor, while a patient is undergoing cancer surgery. This method has some obvious and not-so-obvious advantages, including:
• Minimized damage to surrounding healthy tissue
• Immediate arresting spread of cancer cells following surgery
• Shorter treatment cycles
• Fewer side effects
Just as important, a new radiation device, from a company called IntraOp, promises to make this therapy economically viable in the American healthcare system.
Up till now, the cost of retrofitting operating suites with conventional electron accelerators and radiation shielding has prevented many hospitals and cancer centers from adding this effective tool to their treatment arsenal. The new IORT device, called the Mobetron, is the first fully portable, self-shielding IORT solution.
With the Mobitron, hospitals can now harness the power of IORT without the need to equip dedicated operating rooms -- a potential multi-million-dollar investment -- and without moving their patients, with the attendant increased infection risk.
IORT and Mobitron are two breast-cancer-fighting breakthroughs that American women should know about. If you'd like to know more and tell your readers how to seek this treatment option, I can offer you an interview with Dr. Felix Stedlmayer, who presented the study's findings at an early-October conference of the European Society for Therapeutic Radiation and Oncology, and with Donald A. Goer, PhD., President and CEO of IntraOp Medical Corp. They can help you tell American women what they need to know in order to avoid unnecessary mastectomies and minimize their chances of cancer recurrence.
Please contact me via email or at 212-398-9680. I look forward to hearing from you soon.