Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation
What Is Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation?
Accelerated partial breast irradiation technology offers women a shorter, more intense course of radiation therapy following a lumpectomy. Traditional postoperative radiation therapy involves treating the entire breast with external beam radiation every day for six to seven weeks. With accelerated partial breast irradiation, a balloon catheter is inserted through the breast tissue directly into the lumpectomy bed. A radioactive source then delivers highly targeted radiation dosages through the catheter, every day for only five days. This selective radiation technique allows patients to complete their course of radiation in just a week.
The Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation Experience - How Does It Work?
Patients who qualify for accelerated partial breast irradiation therapy receive treatments twice a day for five days. Before each session, a pretreatment CT scan verifies that the balloon catheter is correctly inflated and positioned within the breast. Patients then go to the treatment room where their catheter is attached to a cable which is attached to a robot that houses the radioactive source that is automatically sent into the balloon. The treatment times vary from 5-15 minutes depending on the activity of the source.
These painless sessions occur in six-hour intervals and tend to take place early morning and mid-afternoon. At the end of the fifth day and 10th session, the balloon catheter is deflated and removed.
Morton Plant Mease and Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation - Changing the Course of Cancer Treatment
Morton Plant Mease was one of the first health systems in Tampa Bay to provide accelerated partial breast irradiation. The balloon catheter device received FDA approval in Fall of 2002. By February 2003, we had adopted this technique and become part of a national study to evaluate its effectiveness. Today, accelerated partial breast irradiation is no longer considered experimental and many women are benefitting from this post-lumpectomy radiation therapy.