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Photos: Sentara Joins 4 U.S. Hospitals in International 'TARGIT' Breast Cancer Trial

- TARGIT Procedure May Eliminate 6 Weeks of Radiation Therapy - Event: Watch Single-Dose Radiation Treatment over the Internet Wednesday, October 22, 2008, 3 - 4 p.m. by visiting

HAMPTON, Va., Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ - Questions raced through Vela Cross' mind when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in May. Would she have the tumor removed or her entire breast? How about radiation or chemotherapy?

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With doctors at Sentara CarePlex Hospital involved in the international TARGIT Trial, Cross became the first East Coast patient to receive this revolutionary treatment option.

Sentara CarePlex Hospital in Hampton, Virginia is among five U.S. centers and 22 worldwide enrolling patients in this study open to early-stage breast cancer patients. The study evaluates the effectiveness of an investigational single-dose internal radiation treatment compared with conventional external radiation.

The TARGIT Trial, which stands for TARGeted Intraoperative-radiation Therapy, could eliminate the need for six weeks of daily radiation.

"Regular radiation would have really interrupted my life," says Cross.

"Some women consider a mastectomy rather than facing weeks of conventional radiation," says surgical oncologist Dr. Richard Hoefer. "We hope our participation offers women another option," he continues.

Half of trial participants get the investigational one-time dose of radiation through an applicator placed in the tumor cavity. The radiation is targeted to breast cells with the highest risk of cancer recurrence-those that directly surrounded the tumor. Other trial participants receive 6-8 weeks of external radiation.

Equipment involved in this study was cleared by the U.S. FDA as safe and effective; trials at Sentara are subject to rigorous approvals.

"This study could significantly change the way we care for early-stage breast cancer patients," says Dr. Michael Miller, medical director of CarePlex Hospital's radiation oncology department.

TARGIT is a randomized phase III study, enrolling post-menopausal women at least 45 years old with single-site invasive breast cancer measuring less than 3 centimeters. For a patient to receive the single-dose radiation, they must be a candidate for the TARGIT Trial. Other considerations include type of cancer, tumor size, and lymph node involvement. To learn more, call 757-594- 1939 or visit

SOURCE Sentara CarePlex Hospital
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