IORT: a multidisciplinary innovation in cancer treatment

One minute of intraoperative electron irradiation can prevent the cycles of external beam radiation


Radiation therapy is essential in the treatment of cancer.

Used alone or in combination with surgical excision and chemotherapy, based on its mechanism of action on the DNA damage sensitive cells.

The neoplastic cells are affected to a greater extent in the more active the proliferation than normal cells. The selectivity of treatment is provided both through the localization of the irradiated area, both through the administration of doses of radiation tolerable by healthy tissue, but repeated over time. External beam radiation therapy is done in cycles of 5 weeks with one session per day (irradiation in the bunker). Intraoperative radiation therapy is administered instead of electron beam produced by a mobile linear accelerator that can be placed directly into a standard operating room, and takes the same terms were extended by 14 minutes than surgical procedure (only 1 minute irradiation). The clear demonstration by several studies on the efficacy of external radiotherapy, even on long-term relapse, means that the patient avoids post-operative treatment cycles, expectations, travel and everything that is related.

Intraoperative radiation therapy allows the administration of a very high dose of radiation, when combined with external beam radiation therapy.

In this way you can minimize the side effects and preserving healthy tissue.

The treatment protocols approved today by the scientific community are about breast cancer, locally advanced rectal cancer, recurrent pelvic tumors of the pancreas, cancer of the stomach, the soft-tissue sarcomas. In Italy this method is routinely used in many centers for the treatment of cancer. Read more