Halifax Health First In East Central Florida to Introduce Less-Invasive, Single-Treatment Option for Breast Cancer

DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. – (May 25, 2017) – In May, Halifax Health began treating women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancers with a new, less-invasive, single-treatment option using the INTRABEAM intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT) system.

“The arrival of the IORT system is exciting new technology for our community which brings additional hope to the women of East Central Florida diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer,” says Debra Trovato, service line administrator for Halifax Health – Center for Oncology.  She adds, “We are proud to be the first to offer this treatment option which greatly reduces the treatment time for women with certain types of early-stage breast cancer.  This month, we have successfully performed this new treatment on two patients utilizing the IORT system.”  

Considered an excellent therapy option for women having breast-conserving surgery, also known as a lumpectomy, this clinically documented radiotherapy delivers a single fraction of radiotherapy in 20-30 minutes during the time of surgical lumpectomy.  Other forms of radiation therapy can require five to six weeks of treatment.

“With this new less-invasive treatment, the small spherical tip of a miniaturized radiation device is inserted into lumpectomy incision,” says Ronald Krochak, M.D., a board-certified radiation oncologist at Halifax Health.  He explains, “This treatment option significantly reduces the treatment of early-stage breast cancer and allows patients to get back to their lives more quickly.”

Localizing the radiation inside the breast is effective because this is where cancer is most likely to recur.  The international TARGIT research group has been investigating this new method of delivering radiotherapy for breast cancer in which the treatment can be delivered at the time of surgical lumpectomy since 1988.  The results of the trial reveal the overall number of recurrences of the breast cancer was very low.

Michael Alvarado, M.D., a member of TARGIT-A International Steering Committee and one of the principle investigators at the University of California, San Francisco, says, “Radiotherapy delivered at the time of surgery is an exciting advancement. By delivering radiation intraoperatively, primarily the tumor bed is targeted, therefore patients benefit from less ‘scatter radiation’ to the lungs and heart, and fewer cosmetic problems with the breast.”

IORT can also be used for a boost treatment during surgery and to deliver a prescribed dose of radiation therapy in conjunction with whole breast radiation.

“Women who have been diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer should speak with their physician about whether IORT is the right treatment for them,” suggests Dr. Krochak.

To learn more about the programs and treatments offered by the Halifax Health – Center for Oncology, including the INTRABEAM intraoperative radiotherapy system, visit halifaxhealth.org/oncology or call 386.425.2378. 

Halifax Health

Recognized by The Joint Commission as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures, Halifax Health serves Volusia and Flagler counties, providing a continuum of healthcare services through a network of organizations including a tertiary hospital, community hospital, freestanding emergency department, an urgent care, psychiatric services, a cancer treatment center with four outreach locations, the area’s largest hospice, a center for inpatient rehabilitation, primary care walk-in clinics, a walk-in clinic specializing in women’s health, a children’s community clinic, three children’s medical practices, a home healthcare agency, and an exclusive provider organization.  Halifax Health offers the area’s only Level II Trauma Center, Comprehensive Stroke Center, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Pediatric Emergency Department, Child and Adolescent Behavioral Services, complete Neurosurgical Services, OB Emergency Department and Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that cares for babies born as early as 28 weeks.  For more information, visit halifaxhealth.org.