How Intraoperative Radiation Therapy is Helping Colorectal Patients, with P. Ravi Kiran, MBBS

Dr. Kiran: There is a finite dose of radiation that one can receive because radiation could damage normal structures as well, the problem with radiation with particularly the pelvis or various parts of the abdomen is that the contours are inaccessible sometimes, by external beam, so normal structures come within the path of the beam for external treatment. There is the option for removing the tumor and using the radiation intraoperatively wherein the surgeon together with the radiation oncologist is able to focus the radiation onto the special particular field where there's a risk of the cancer potentially coming back and that is what intraoperative radiation therapy entails. it gives the opportunity for resection for a greater number of patients who would otherwise have been deemed to be inoperable because the tumor can not be resected because it's close to important structures. There's a chance to potentially cure recurrent cancer, locally advanced and large cancer. Columbia is one of the few hospitals in NYC that is using the technique. Columbia New York Presbyterian first started utilizing the procedure for inter-abdominal cases for complex re-operative surgery.