Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT) 

Ground breaking breast cancer treatment in as little as one day


What is Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT)?

Breast IORT is a breast cancer treatment for women undergoing a lumpectomy (removal of tumor from the breast) that delivers a concentrated dose of radiation to the tumor site during surgery. A small inflatable balloon is placed into the surgical cavity or area of the breast where the tumor was removed. Radiation is then delivered for as little as eight minutes. The balloon is then removed and the surgical incision is closed.

What are the advantages of IORT?

  • Shortens treatment time. Radiation is delivered at the same time as surgery in as little as eight minutes. This eliminates the need for five-to-seven weeks of post-operative radiation. Breast cancer treatment is completed in one day. This means fewer appointments, less travel, fewer days of missed work and less emotional stress. 

  • Healthier for surrounding tissue. Radiation is targeted directly to the tumor and is shielded by the balloon. This allows a higher dose to be delivered to the tumor while sparing the surrounding healthy tissue and organs.

  • Reduced risk of reoccurrence. Because the radiation is delivered directly to the tumor site at a high dose, it reduces the risk of reoccurrence. A single dose of IORT radiation may have as much effect on the tumor as 10-20 traditional radiation treatments.

Is IORT as effective as traditional radiation treatment?

A major clinical trial, TARGIT-A, studied over 2,000 patients receiving IORT or standard radiation treatment. The study measured how often the cancer returned and determined that both therapies were almost equally effective. 1 Another more recent study of 78 patients treated with IORT found that zero had reoccurrence of breast cancer.

Reference: 1. TARGIT-A Trial performed with Intrabeam System.