This fall marks the eighth anniversary of the use of Intrabeam technology for breast cancer patients treated under the Multidisciplinary Breast Cancer Program at UF Health’s Department of Radiation Oncology.
Traditional radiation therapy targets the entire breast and can require daily treatments at a radiation center for as long as six weeks. In some cases, Intrabeam therapy can shorten the duration of a woman’s radiation treatment to a single day.
Surgeons insert the device directly into the breast during a lumpectomy, or resection operation, to deliver a single dose of radiation therapy to the former tumor site. Intrabeam therapy takes about 25 minutes to complete. The device is not meant to treat women undergoing mastectomies.
The Intrabeam can also be used to administer an initial “boost” of internal radiation before external radiation therapy begins, allowing for a shorter treatment time. Administering the treatment inside the breast also means less healthy tissue is exposed to radiation and ensures therapy is delivered directly to the former tumor site.
In addition, the convenience of UF Health’s Intrabeam treatment offers an excellent option for patients who are unable to travel daily to a radiation center.
A 2013 Journal of the American College of Surgeons article reported that among 78 patients who underwent 80 Intrabeam treatments at UF Health between November 2010 and October 2012 at UF, Intrabeam therapy was the only radiation treatment required in 81% of patients, and only 15% of women required an additional operation after their lumpectomy.
At 12 months of follow-up, breast appearance was good to excellent in 92% of the study’s participants. Intrabeam was also associated with considerably lower costs ($1,857) than conventional whole-breast radiation therapy ($9,653).
To learn more about Intrabeam brachytherapy and UF’s team-oriented, comprehensive cancer program, visit the Department of Radiation Oncology’s Patient Care Information for Multidisciplinary Oncology Treatment Teams and Clinics.