TOLEDO, OhioResearchers at the Medical College of Ohio have treated
a series of breast-conservation patients with intraoperative electron beam
radiation to the tumor bed, in conjunction with a course of 45 to 50 Gy
of external beam radiation.
With this technique, "you can eliminate the boost dose at the end
of radiation therapy, thus shortening the course of external beam radiation
by eight days," Joyce A. Battle, MD, assistant professor of radiation
therapy, said in her poster presentation.
The study began in 1984 under the auspices of Ralph R. Dobelbower, MD,
PhD, chairman, Department of Radiation Therapy. Dr. Battle reported on
the first 21 patients, all with stage I and II disease, and ranging in
age from 33 to 75 years. "There have been no local recurrences with
this treatment, with follow-up of 11 years," Dr. Battle said. Two
patients have died of distant disease, including the youngest patient,
whose disease was very virulent, and one patient has been lost to follow-up.
The Ohio team has now treated 25 patients with intraoperative radiation
at a dose of 10 or 15 Gy. Said Dr. Battle: "Our center and a center
in Montpellier, France, are the only two that I know of that are doing
intraoperative boost radiation to the tumor bed for early-stage conservative
The technique requires a surgeon who is willing to work in the intraoperative
radiotherapy suite. "Dr. H. W. Merrick has performed all but two of
these procedures," she said, "but with the recent addition of
another surgical oncologist, we may do more."