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The Lancet Oncology

Thursday, March 4, 2010

European Breast Cancer Patients to be Treated With Revolutionary Therapy System

For the first time, breast cancer patients in Europe will receive treatment using a revolutionary system called AccuBoost. The Italian hospital where the patients are being treated is using the technology to pinpoint the tumor bed and treat it whilst still protecting the patient's healthy surrounding tissue and organs.

The new treatment option is made possible by the system combining real-time mammographic image guidance and non-invasive use of a radiotherapy technique called brachytherapy, a high-precision radiation therapy in which the radiation source used to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors is placed in or close to the tumor itself. Precision brachytherapy allows a physician to concentrate a high dose of radiation in a small area, minimizing damage to nearby, healthy body tissue and organs, over a shorter treatment period.

Professor Roberto Orecchia; Director of the Division of Radiotherapy, is leading the use of the new system at the Istituto Europeo di Oncologia in Milan and explained: 'When the patient is treated with AccuBoost, the image is seen in real-time, guaranteeing radiotherapy that is extremely precise in its targeting of the tumour bed. This is a very innovative procedure because for the first time mammography images can be used to guide the radiotherapy treatment in such an extremely precise and adaptive manner. There is also a time benefit, so this year, we will be able to treat 50 percent of patients more quickly and efficiently than before, reducing treatment time from six weeks to three weeks.'

The Istituto Europeo di Oncologia is the first hospital in Europe to use AccuBoost, which was certified for use in Europe just six weeks ago. The technology was developed by Nucletron, a knowledge-based leader in Radiation Oncology, and ART a company dedicated to the advancement of partial breast irradiation with the goal of reducing the cancer recurrence rate and minimizing radiation related complications. The two companies specialize in advancing radiation oncology by developing state-of-the-art equipment for high precision brachytherapy.

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