Intraoperative Radiation Therapy available at NYP/Columbia Breast Center

Intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) benefits women with early stage breast cancer who are undergoing lumpectomy. This new option will be available at the Clinical Breast Cancer Program beginning in August 2013.

IORT delivers a single dose of radiation directly to the lumpectomy cavity immediately after a tumor is removed. Focusing the radiation in that cavity rather than applying radiation to the whole breast is as effective as whole breast radiation, according to research comparing the two methods.

IORT offers important advantages over traditional radiation therapy:

  • It is far less expensive
  • Side effects are reduced
  • It is far more convenient than having return to the hospital for weeks or months of therapy following surgery.

Our article on Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation, written when IORT was in early investigational stages, provides additional information about this therapy which is now FDA approved.

Recent videos on NBC and ABC explain the advantages of intraoperative radiation therapy for women with early stage breast cancer. See these videos here and here.