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MammoSite™ Radiation Therapy

The Lipson Cancer Center Radiation Oncology Department is now' offering the 'MammoSite®' Radiation Therapy System for breast cancer patients who could benefit from this treatment.

 MammoSite™ Radiation Therapy is a device that is used to deliver radiation therapy directly to the tissue surrounding the cavity created after a patient undergoes a lumpectomy or surgical removal of a cancerous tumor, which is where tumors are most likely to recur. The system includes implantation of a balloon catheter that is filled with saline solution and delivers a highly conformal dose of radiation to the tumor while minimizing radiation to surrounding tissue.

"The role of the surgeon is key in the selection and preparation of patients who might be candidates for 'MammoSite®' said Alberto Lopes, MD, a radiation oncologist at the Lipson Cancer Center. 'MammoSite®' isn't appropriate for all patients but for some patients meeting specific criteria, it is an option that will enable them to undergo follow-up radiation treatments that might have been prohibitive without it. With 'MammoSite®', patients complete surgery and radiation treatments in much less time - approximately two weeks as compared with external beam treatments that can not start until about four weeks after surgery and take approximately seven weeks to complete."

Some criteria for 'MammoSite®' include:

  • Patients for which whole-breast external beam radiation isn't feasible due to medical or social problems that prohibit the patient from undergoing external beam treatment (transportation issues. infirmities such as arthritis or severe pulmonary disease, etc.)

  • The patient must have stage I breast cancer or stage IT breast cancer without lymph node involvement

  • The tumor must be less than 4 cm. in size.

  • The patient must be 40 or older.

  • The tumor should be clear of the margins of resection

"Although long-range data on treatment with 'MammoSite®' as a single modality alone isn't yet available. preliminary data on it is very good," said Dr. Lopes. "It is believed that outcomes for this will be similar to traditional Brachytherapy with fewer side effects. 'MammoSite®' can be used as a boost, as part of the treatment of the tumor bed, shortening duration even when external beam is used. This can help shorten the usual treatment time with external beam radiation by a couple of weeks."

For more information on the Lipson Cancer Center or on MammoSite™ Radiation Therapy, contact Dr. Lopes at (585) 922-3545.

Lipson Cancer and Blood Center 
Rochester General Hospital
1425 Portland Avenue Rochester, New York 14621
(585) 922-4000