This revolutionary treatment delivers a concentrated dose of radiation therapy to a tumour bed during surgery. This advanced technology may help kill microscopic disease, reduce radiation treatment times or provide an added radiation “boost”.
The results of the world wide clinical trial lead by University College London which has tested the effectiveness and side-effects of this treatment has established this treatment to be as effective as conventional radiotherapy. Eligible patients benefit from the following advantages:
- Maximum effect
IORT delivers a concentrated dose of radiation to a tumour site immediately after a tumour is removed, helping to destroy the microscopic tumour cells that may be left behind. The tumour site is typically at high risk for recurrence and traditional radiation therapy requires a recovery period after surgery, which leaves microscopic disease in the body for longer.
- Spares healthy tissues and organs
During IORT, a precise radiation dose is applied while shielding healthy tissues or structures, such as the skin, that could be damaged using other techniques. This allows a higher radiation dose to be delivered to the tumour bed, while sparing normal surrounding tissues. Critical organs within the radiation field, such as the lungs or heart, can also be protected.
- Shortened treatment times
IORT may help some patients finish treatment and get back to their lives quicker by reducing the need for additional radiation therapy.
The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust can offer this treatment to eligible patients as participants in a clinical trial. In some cases patients may be suitable for off-trial treatment.
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