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Radiation device in the breast reduces complications for early stage breast cancer patients
Date:4/23/2009

A new study shows that the SAVI applicator, a small, expandable device inserted inside the breast to deliver partial breast irradiation, carries a low infection risk, a potential complication of such devices. The research, led by radiation oncologists and surgeons at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center and Fort Myers, Florida-based 21st Century Oncology, also indicates that other complications such as seromas, pockets of fluid that build with the use of internal radiation devices are unlikely to occur.

That's good news for those women with early-stage breast cancer who opt to have such devices inserted for their radiation therapy after breast-sparing lumpectomy surgery, said Cate Yashar, MD, associate professor of radiation oncology at the UC San Diego School of Medicine and chief of breast and gynecological radiation services at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center. Their use is increasing, she added, noting that the Moores UCSD Cancer Center was one of the first medical facilities in the country to offer SAVI.

SAVI, which consists of flexible catheters through which radiation is given, provides customized radiation therapy and minimizes exposure to healthy tissue after a woman has undergone a lumpectomy to remove a cancerous tumor. Radiation specialists sometimes decide to give women internal radiation a process called brachytherapy with the goal of giving concentrated doses of radiation to areas of concern while avoiding healthy tissue.

In the study, researchers examined one-year follow-up data on 63 patients treated with the Food and Drug Administration-approved SAVI device. They found an infection rate that is less than half of the published rates associated with balloon brachytherapy methods, and rated overall cosmetic outcomes with SAVI as "excellent." The results will be presented at the American Society of Breast Surgeon's annual meeting in San Diego, April 24, 2009.

In addition, physicians were able to use the devic
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Contact: Steve Benowitz
sbenowitz@ucsd.edu
619-543-6163
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert  

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