INTRABEAM Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT) | Prince Court Medical Centre

INTRABEAM Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT)


IORT is an advanced and personalised treatment approach specifically designed for Stage 1 and 2 breast cancers. IORT aims to optimise outcomes and ensure effective tumour control.

Receiving a breast cancer diagnosis is undoubtedly a challenging experience. At Prince Court Medical Centre, we fully understand the emotional and overwhelming nature of this situation. That is why we are committed to providing easily accessible information about various treatment options, empowering you to make informed decisions that are best suited to your needs.

For women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, one commonly recommended treatment is breast-conserving surgery, also known as lumpectomy. Unlike mastectomy, which involves complete breast removal, lumpectomy involves removing only the affected tissue along with a small margin of surrounding healthy cells. 

Post-surgery, radiation therapy plays a crucial role. Traditionally, Whole Breast Radiation Therapy (WBRT) is prescribed, where the entire breast is exposed to radiation. Patients typically undergo treatment five days a week for a period of three to six weeks. Unfortunately, traditional radiation therapy can lead to side effects such as fatigue, dryness, itching, swelling, and changes in skin colour. Moreover, it may also affect nearby healthy tissues and organs.

However, thanks to remarkable technological advancements, we are proud to offer an alternative option for some women: Single dose radiotherapy, also known as INTRABEAM intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT). This innovative approach allows for targeted radiation treatment to be delivered during surgery itself.

Targeted IORT: Individualsed Radiation Treatment for Breast Cancer Tumours


Intraoperative Radiotherapy (IORT) is an advanced and personalised treatment approach specifically designed for Stage 1 and 2 breast cancers. This technique delivers low-energy X-rays directly to the tumour bed during surgery, immediately following a lumpectomy or partial mastectomy. By tailoring the radiation treatment to the individual, IORT aims to optimise outcomes and ensure effective tumour control.


Precise and Minimally Invasive: Zeiss INTRABEAM Machine Delivers Targeted Radiation


At the forefront of Intraoperative Radiotherapy (IORT), the Zeiss INTRABEAM machine plays a pivotal role in ensuring precise and minimally invasive treatment. This cutting-edge technology employs a spherical-shaped applicator that is meticulously positioned within the surgical cavity. By establishing direct contact with the targeted tissue, it enables the administration of radiation with exceptional precision. This targeted approach allows for concentrated radiation delivery to the area at the highest risk of tumour recurrence while minimising exposure to adjacent healthy tissues. Through such meticulous precision, the Zeiss INTRABEAM machine significantly enhances the effectiveness of treatment while upholding a minimally invasive treatment experience.


IORT: Minimising Side Effects and Optimising Breast Cancer Treatment


IORT offers several advantages over traditional external beam radiation therapy for breast cancer treatment. By delivering radiation directly to the tumour bed, IORT enables the individualised treatment of tumours while safeguarding the skin and its deeper structures. This personalised approach minimises unnecessary radiation exposure to healthy tissues, reducing the likelihood of side effects. Compared to the longer duration of conventional radiation therapy, IORT offers a shorter treatment period, resulting in improved patient comfort and reduced disruption to daily life.


Faster Treatment, Better Comfort: Benefits of IORT for Stage 1 and 2 Breast Cancer Patients


The benefits of IORT are particularly significant for patients diagnosed with Stage 1 and 2 breast cancer. As a less invasive alternative to more extensive surgeries, IORT preserves breast tissue and provides a more cosmetically favourable outcome. Furthermore, IORT takes into account individual risk factors, tailoring the treatment approach to each patient's unique circumstances. This individualised treatment not only optimises therapeutic outcomes but also offers a significantly more comfortable experience for patients throughout their breast cancer journey.


Quick and Convenient: IORT Reduces Hospital Time and Enhances Quality of Life


IORT offers a streamlined treatment process that minimises hospitalisation time and allows patients to resume their normal routines promptly. The one-time radiation treatment, which typically lasts between 20 to 45 minutes depending on the size of the surgical cavity, eliminates the need for additional radiation therapy sessions. The administration of radiation during surgery ensures there is no delay in receiving treatment, expediting the overall treatment timeline. As a result, patients experience a significant reduction in hospitalisation time, enabling them to swiftly return to their regular activities and enhancing their overall quality of life.


The Advantages of IORT


  • Radiation exposure occurs only once, during the surgical procedure.
  • There is a reduced risk of harm to surrounding healthy tissues and organs.
  • Radiation is efficiently absorbed within a depth of 1 – 2 cm.
  • Prompt initiation of chemotherapy is possible, if necessary.
  • There is no longer a need for weekly hospital visits for radiation treatment.


Possible Side Effects

  • Mild tenderness may be experienced at the surgical site.
  • Slight swelling and redness of the skin in the treated area can occur.


Is Cancer Recurrence Possible?


A potential risk of cancer recurrence always exists, even with a mastectomy. Whether opting for IORT or standard radiation, current research indicates a 2% chance of cancer returning within 5 years.


Meet Our Specialists


Dr Harjit Kaur Perdamen

Breast & Endocrine Surgery

Breast & Endocrine Surgery Clinic
2D, Level 2


Dr Sarinah Basro

Breast & Endocrine Surgery

Breast & Endocrine Surgery Clinic
2D, Level 2

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