Couple Share $1.8 Million to Test More Precise Image-guided Breast Radiation Therapy

Couple Share $1.8 Million to Test More Precise Image-guided Breast Radiation Therapy
A new strategy for delivering a higher dose of radiotherapy with increased precision to breast tumors — while sparing healthy tissue — has been awarded more than $1.8 million from the National Institutes of Health. The strategy, called Precision Breast Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT), couples brachytherapy (an advanced cancer treatment that relies on the placement of radioactive seeds or sources near tumor sites) with high-powered imaging to more efficiently direct radiation into the tumor. As a result, the tumor receives the double the radiation used in conventional IORT, while sparing heart, lungs and other organs, rendering it more effective and with fewer adverse outcomes. The new strategy is co-developed by radiation oncologist Timothy Showalter, MD, and his wife, breast cancer surgeon Shayna L. Showalter, MD, at the University of Virginia (UVA) Cancer Center. “Our team at UVA is pioneering the use of advanced, image-guided brachytherapy for breast IORT,” Shayna Showalter, said in a press release. “We have been working on this new method since 2014.” “The Precision Breast IORT program leverages UVA’s unique CT-on-rails brachytherapy suite to address the technical limitations of other IORT techniques,” said Tim Showalter, co-principal investigator. “This work represents a unique collaboration between surgery and radiation oncology, with important support
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