Mercy Medical Center First in Maryland to Offer A Single-Dose Radiation Treatment Alternative to Women with Early Breast Cancer

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Mercy is the first hospital in Maryland to acquire the INTRABEAM® Radiotherapy System, a new radiation platform used to deliver intraoperative radiotherapy. This new single dose treatment replaces 30 traditional radiation treatments for breast cancer.

Mercy breast surgeon Dr. Neil B. Friedman employs IORT for breast cancer patient

It is our vision that with intraoperative radiotherapy, patients will receive their radiation treatment (one single dose) at the time of surgery, with no delay --Mercy radiation oncologist Dr. Maria Jacobs

Mercy Medical Center’s Dr. Neil B. Friedman, Director, The Hoffberger Breast Center, and Dr. Maria Jacobs, Director, Radiation Oncology, have announced that Mercy is the first hospital in Maryland to acquire the INTRABEAM® Radiotherapy System, a new radiation platform used to deliver intraoperative radiotherapy.

Intraoperative radiotherapy or IORT is a new single treatment which takes the place of external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) done at the time of the lumpectomy. Mercy is currently one of only 35 sites in the United States to offer this treatment option.

“Pioneered in Europe, IORT delivers a concentrated, one time dose of radiation directly into the tumor bed and is a clinically validated alternative to standard breast radiation therapy which is commonly given on a daily basis for approximately six weeks,” Dr. Friedman said.

According to Dr. Friedman, “Intraoperative Radiotherapy was the subject of a major 2010 study reported in The Lancet which showed that IORT was not inferior to a traditional course of radiation therapy for appropriately selected patients and can save our patients numerous return trips to the hospital for their care.”

The system, which delivers targeted, intraoperative radiation treatment directly to the tumor site after lumpectomy, was the only platform used in the single-treatment arm of the TARGIT-A multicenter clinical trial, published in The Lancet.

Unlike whole breast radiation treatment, which is administered five times per week for as many as six and a half weeks, patients in the study received a targeted single radiation treatment immediately following tumor removal.

According to Dr. Jacobs, intraoperative delivery allows radiation to be applied in the area of the breast where the tumor was located. This ensures radiation delivery accuracy and minimizes geographical miss.

“The INTRABEAM radiation is applied for 20 to 30 minutes, exposing the affected tissue in the tumor bed from the inside. The surgeon then removes the INTRABEAM applicator and closes the incision,” Dr. Jacobs said.

The INTRABEAM system was the only radiotherapy device used in the TARGIT-A clinical trial, the largest randomized clinical trial conducted in the field of abbreviated partial breast irradiation for the treatment of breast cancer. The TARGIT-A trial was launched in 2000 and enrolled over 3400 patients in 33 centers in eleven countries.

In addition to the convenience of radiotherapy delivered during surgery, the INTRABEAM system has been shown to provide additional benefits compared to traditional EBRT. These include less irritation of healthy breast tissue, minimized exposure to the chest cavity and underlying organs, and fewer skin reactions, such as redness, rashes, and irritation.

“In some instances, patients may need adjuvant chemotherapy for three to four months followed by six to seven weeks of daily radiation treatments. It is our vision that with intraoperative radiotherapy, patients will receive their radiation treatment (one single dose) at the time of surgery, with no delay,” Dr. Jacobs said.

About the INTRABEAM Radiotherapy System
INTRABEAM, Carl Zeiss Meditec's radiotherapy system, offers the least disruptive treatment method available to patients diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. The INTRABEAM radiation dose is administered to the tumor bed in the operating room immediately following the surgical excision of the tumor. The system utilizes a miniature X-ray source, a highly flexible support stand, and a full range of radiation applicator options. INTRABEAM has the advantage of delivering a precise radiation dose to the tumor site at the time of surgery, minimizing geographical miss and the associated side effects with external beam radiation. Afterwards, the applicator and miniature X-ray source are removed, the surgical site is closed, and the procedure is complete. Please visit http://www.meditec.zeiss.com/intrabeam for more information.

US FDA-Cleared Indications for Use:
The INTRABEAM® Spherical Applicators are indicated for use with the INTRABEAM Radiotherapy System to deliver a prescribed dose of radiation to the treatment margin or tumor bed during intracavitary or intraoperative radiotherapy treatments. The INTRABEAM Balloon Applicator together with the INTRABEAM system is intended to deliver intracavitary or interstitial radiation to the surgical margins following lumpectomy of breast cancer. The safety and efficacy of the INTRABEAM system as a replacement for whole breast irradiation in the treatment of breast cancer has not yet been established.

Mercy Medical Center is a 138-year-old, university affiliated medical facility named one of the top 100 hospitals in the nation and among 10 best centers for women’s health care. For more information about Mercy, IORT, and The Hoffberger Breast Center, visit Mercy online at http://www.mdmercy.com or call 1-800-M.D.-Mercy.

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Dan Collins
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