Twenty-two facilities in the Midwest have been named Centers of Excellence in accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) for their use of the SAVI® applicator, an advanced therapy for breast cancer as part of breast conservation therapy. The SAVI applicator can provide important advantages for women with early-stage breast cancer.
“They are changing how we care for women with early-stage breast cancer by recognizing the clinical benefits of more targeted radiation therapy and choosing to make it available to their patients.”
The Center of Excellence designation recognizes these facilities' dedication to education, training and experience in APBI. To qualify, physicians, medical physicists and clinical staff were required to complete a comprehensive training and education program to demonstrate proficiency in delivering radiation therapy with SAVI. The facilities have also expressed a commitment to patient education, advocacy and awareness of advanced breast cancer treatments.
"Cianna Medical is proud to acknowledge the contributions these surgeons and radiation oncologists are making to the APBI field," said Jill Anderson, President and CEO of Cianna Medical. "They are changing how we care for women with early-stage breast cancer by recognizing the clinical benefits of more targeted radiation therapy and choosing to make it available to their patients."
The commitment of these centers and physicians to offer the SAVI applicator extends the benefits of breast conservation therapy to a larger group of women and results in improved clinical outcomes.
Breast conservation therapy includes lumpectomy- the surgical removal of the cancerous tissue within the breast plus tissue immediately around the tumor - followed by radiation. This approach is an alternative to mastectomy, which removes the entire breast and is often followed by breast reconstruction.
The SAVI applicator delivers a form of radiation therapy known as breast brachytherapy. This approach, which targets the tumor site from inside the breast, is becoming a more widely used alternative to traditional radiation.
Breast brachytherapy typically involves two treatments per day for only five days. This shorter timeframe makes brachytherapy far more convenient than traditional, external-beam radiation. The latter is delivered five times a week and takes six or seven weeks.
Radiation treatment after a lumpectomy has traditionally involved irradiation of the entire breast with an external beam. Besides the inconvenience of the six-week-long regimen, many women must travel some distance to receive external-beam radiation. That can put additional stress on their families, jobs, and financial resources.
In addition to shortening the therapy time, breast brachytherapy with SAVI minimizes radiation exposure of healthy tissue, which reduces damage to critical structures such as the skin, heart, lungs and ribs.