A major new study found that a single dose of radiation therapy at the site of tumor removal during surgery is as effective against recurrence as treating the whole breast for a much longer multi-week duration post surgery. This is great news for Charlotte area and nationwide breast cancer patients.
Typically, radiation therapy is given post surgery. The patient must visit the Radiation Oncology office 5 days per week for 6 or 7 weeks. Also, the entire breast is treated with radiation therapy. The focus of this trial was to find out if a single dose of targeted radiation therapy, at the site of the tumor, would be as effective. According to the findings, it was.
The findings of the TARGIT (Targeted Intraoperative Radiotherapy) trial, a large 10 year randomized controlled clinical trial with over 2000 patients, were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago. The trial looked at the results of over 2000 women over 40 with invasive breast cancer. Half received conventional treatment (described above) and half received the targeted radiotherapy during surgery.
Why the excitement over same outcomes? The single does is much more convenient for the patient. Also, it avoids radiation to the heart and lungs, which may be inevitable during conventional therapy.