AccuBoost Radiation Treatment

AccuBoost radiation treatment for breast cancer
AccuBoost radiation treatment for breast cancer

The treatment of breast cancer was revolutionized in the mid 1980s when lumpectomy and radiation was found to be equivalent to mastectomy. Breast conservation therapy (BCT) starts with the surgical removal of cancerous tissue in a procedure known as lumpectomy. Lumpectomy is followed by daily sessions of radiation therapy to the whole breast for six weeks. Whole breast irradiation (WBI) is widely accepted as the "gold standard" for breast radiotherapy based on over three decades of experience.

The breast conservation therapy protocol also requires additional localized radiation, known as the "boost" dose, aimed only at the tissue surrounding the tumor bed. The combination of targeted surgery and completion of radiation therapy has been effective in preventing cancer recurrence. Numerous studies show that women with early stage disease have a clear option to preserve the breast and fight off the cancer.

AccuBoost is a machine that delivers the boost with image guidance. The image guidance is with mammography, the same modality that diagnosed the breast cancer. Treatment is delivered by an applicator for brachytherapy incorporated into a mammography unit. Each day, images are taken to verify the area to be treated. Then the radiation is delivered.

Another advantage of AccuBoost is there is typically less dose to normal tissues compared to standard radiation boost techniques. We have seen less acute skin reaction (sunburn) and less longterm thickening of normal tissue in the breast.