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Rush University To Treat Breast Cancer With New Electronic Brachytherapy System

Armen Hareyan's picture

Women with early stage breast cancer now have a new treatment option available to help reduce recurrence of the disease using a miniaturized X-ray source that can deliver localized and targeted radiation treatment in virtually any clinical setting under the supervision of a radiation oncologist.

Rush is the first medical center in the Midwest, and the second in the country, to treat breast cancer patients using the Xoft system.

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With the Axxent Electronic Brachytherapy System the cancer treatment is delivered in 10-15 minutes, two times a day, for five days straight. Recent studies have shown that many patients decide not to receive breast sparing surgery with radiation therapy due to time, distance, or difficulty accessing radiation therapy centers.

"This approach provides the potential to reduce the time required for radiation therapy for early stage breast cancer from seven weeks (for external radiation therapy) down to five days. As a result, more patients may decide to receive treatment. This may accelerate patient choice of breast sparing lumpectomy surgery with adjuvant radiation therapy over the alternative of a full mastectomy," says surgeon Dr. Kambiz Dowlat.

Dowlat says a key component that sets the electronic brachytherapy apart from radiation regimens that involve radioactive isotopes, is that the X-ray source can be turned on and off at will, enabling it to be delivered in virtually any clinical setting rather than in heavily-shielded environments.