Inter Community Cancer Centers and Institute Uses Contura® Multi-Lumen Balloon For More Targeted Breast Cancer Treatment
With recent advances in radiation oncology, knowledge is power for women exploring their treatith recent advances in radiation oncology, knowledge is power for women exploring their treatment options when fighting breast cancer. And with October being “National Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” experts at InterCommunity Cancer Centers and Institute (ICCC/ICCI) are educating patients about the ways that advanced radiation therapies such as the Contura® Multi-Lumen Balloon (MLB), are being deployed to attack this deadly disease.
According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting women today. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer. In 2012, an estimated 226,870 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among women and approximately 39,510 women are expected to die from breast cancer.
The good news is that the disease can be prevented or detected early by routine self- exams, yearly doctor visits and mammograms, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and incorporating healthy diet and lifestyle changes. However, those who are already diagnosed with the disease are faced with the complicated task of educating themselves on the latest available treatment options.
In addition to the advent of Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) and Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT), the Contura® MLB is one of the most exciting and advanced radiation therapy treatments for breast cancer. As a result, ICCC/ICCI specialists are capable of delivering higher doses of radiation to the tumor site with more precision and accuracy.
ICCC/ICCI was the first cancer-care program in Lake, Sumter and Marion Counties to provide Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (APBI) using the Contura® MLB. As a more targeted radiation treatment for post-lumpectomy breast cancer, the Contura® MLB is an outpatient treatment procedure that allows the physician to better control the placement and direction of radiation within the breast while reducing the overall treatment time of conventional external beam irradiation from weeks to days.
Radiation therapy is given to most breast cancer patients who have a lumpectomy in order to kill any remaining cancer cells and prevent them from reproducing, thus reducing the risk of recurrence. Internal radiation, or brachytherapy, offers unique benefits to patients due to the proximal nature of the prescribed radiation dose. External beam irradiation uses high-energy x-rays or proton or gamma rays to treat the tumor by penetrating the skin and surrounding tissues, a technique that has improved over the years through advanced treatment planning and the use of IGRT. Breast brachytherapy delivers radiation only to the breast tissue surrounding the lumpectomy cavity rather than to the entire breast, skin and ribs.
After being inserted, The Contura® balloon is inflated and filled with saline, it is also equipped with a tiny vacuum port used to reduce any remaining fluid or space so that the balloon and the prescribed radiation dose conforms securely within the lumpectomy cavity. Small radiation sources, or seeds, are sent through five separate lumens, or channels, inside the balloon, each having its own dose strength and placement along the balloon curve, which fully allows the radiation dose to be contoured to the treatment area. This gives the doctor the ability to shape the radiation dose toward the desired target area and away from other areas such as the skin and/or chest wall. This ability to shape the dose allows doctors to treat more patients as they are no longer limited by the size or shape of the breast with relation to skin or chest wall distance.
“The dose is directed by where the seed sits in the balloon. This remarkable treatment flexibility allows us to concentrate the radiation dose anywhere in the breast,” explained Bobby Harrison, M.D., radiation oncologist at ICCC/VO. “By having several channels inside the balloon we can precisely determine the best location in which to position the radiation.”
Before the introduction of Contura® in 2007, balloon brachytherapy was available with only a single channel for delivery of the radiation seed. Some breast cancer patients who were possible candidates for the therapy were excluded because of the location of the cancer relative to their breast size, which did not allow appropriate placement of the radiation to minimize the dose to the skin, chest wall or ribs.
“We are excited to offer our patients this new targeted treatment for breast cancer and are confident that it will significantly enhance clinical outcomes because of its precision,” said Dr. Harrison.
ICCC also offers a variety of other treatments for breast cancer including Low Dose Radiation seed implants and High Dose Radiation Brachytherapy. To learn more, please visit www.ICCCVantage.com.
THE EXPERIENCE OF INTERCOMMUNITY CANCER CENTERS AND INSTITUTE
Having treated more than 10,000 patients, ICCC has 25 years of cancer-fighting. It is dedicated to empowering patients to have the confidence they need to change their lives. Radiation Oncologists Drs. Hal Jacobson, Herman Flink, Bobby Harrison, and Maureen Holasek bring exceptional expertise in treating breast, lung, prostate, gynecologic, skin and other cancers.
As part of a larger, nation-wide oncology group of physicians and specialists under Vantage Oncology, the oncologists at ICCC have access to aggregated clinical information and best practices from the treatment of more than 1,000 patients per day, giving ICCC the ability to offer “Ivy League” and university-quality treatment services in smaller and more rural areas.
ABOUT VANTAGE ONCOLOGY
Vantage Oncology offers a complete development, implementation and management solution for radiation oncology practices. It provides ownership opportunities that empower physicians to maintain control of their practice while leveraging the strength of the company’s network and clinical resources. A multi-disciplinary team is committed to continuously raising the standards of cancer care. For more information, please visit www.VantageOncology.com.