According to Cancer Research UK, breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK1. With around 55,200 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in the UK in 2014, 150 cases were found every day. Treatments have come a long way, however they often involve long recovery times and many trips to hospital, causing stress to the patient.
The main treatments for breast cancer are surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, biological therapy (targeted therapy) and radiotherapy, used alone and in combination. This treatment is both expensive and time consuming. External beam radiotherapy is used after the removal of the tumour, with patients having to travel back and forth to the hospital for weeks, affecting their work and lifestyle. However, there is a new option; Single Dose Intraoperative Radiotherapy (SD-IORT) for carefully screened patients.
Single Dose Intraoperative Radiotherapy (SD-IORT) is a single dose of radiotherapy (20Gy) applied directly to the tumour bed immediately following wide local excision and while patients are still under anaesthetic. This spares surrounding healthy tissues from radiation exposure and can eliminate the need for post-operative radiotherapy in most patients.
SD-IORT enables hospitals to offer patients a ‘one dose, one treatment, one day’ radiotherapy option for early breast cancer, employing cutting-edge technology, without the need for capital equipment purchase, maintenance costs or service charges, for a low fee per patient.
In the UK SD-IORT is delivered on the Xoft® Axxent Electronic Brachytherapy System, distributed by ORL (part of the Xstrahl Group). The system is a simple-to-use, portable treatment device.
Sylvia Burd was one of the patients able to have the intraoperative radiotherapy treatment on her breast cancer at the Spire Thames Valley Hospital in Berkshire. Her story was covered by the Daily Mirror last month. She said, “I was thankful to get this state of the-art treatment as I’ve watched friends go to hospital for radiotherapy daily for weeks. So tiring for them. I’ve been surprised how well I’ve been since the op.”
For more information about the new treatments being developed, visit the Xoft website
1 - Cancer Research UK. 2017 Breast Cancer Statistics. [online] Available at: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/breast-cancer [Accessed 8 May 2017].