What is Single Dose Intraoperative Radiotherapy (SD-IORT)

One dose, One treatment, One day


Single Dose Intraoperative radiotherapy (SD-IORT) for early breast cancer is a type of radiotherapy administered as a single treatment during surgery. It is performed immediately after breast conserving surgery, when the patient is still under anaesthesia. The majority of patients can go home on the same day following their treatment.

SD-IORT enables patients to receive radiotherapy earlier, reduces exposure of surrounding normal tissue to radiation, provides better cosmetic results, and offers improved quality of life and convenience compared to External Beam Radiotherapy (EBRT). 

For most patients, SD-IORT eliminates the need for post-operative radiotherapy, avoiding the inconvenience, disruption and expense of attending daily hospital appointments for several weeks. 

During breast SD-IORT, a very precise radiation dose is delivered while protecting healthy tissue with an internal shield. Normal tissues and critical organs such as the heart, lungs and ribs can be spared from radiation.

Women who receive SD-IORT rather than EBRT have been shown to experience less pain, breast and arm symptoms, as well as fewer restrictions in daily activities. 

In a survey of patients treated with SD-IORT, 68% of women had less pain than anticipated immediately post operation. 42% had returned to normal activities within one month of surgery with 58% ‘mostly’ recovered.

A large study of almost 3,500 women demonstrated that single-dose IORT is an effective alternative to a full course of daily radiotherapy treatment over several weeks. The study showed that recurrence of breast cancer following single-dose IORT was non-inferior to EBRT. 

 

Summary of benefits

  • Surgery and radiotherapy in just one day.
  • Reduces exposure of surrounding normal tissue to radiation dose.
  • Provides better cosmetic results.
  • For most patients, SD-IORT eliminates the need for post-operative radiotherapy.
  • Offers improved quality of life and convenience compared to EBRT.
  • Patients avoid the inconvenience, disruption and expense of attending daily hospital appointments for several weeks. 
  • Experience less pain, breast and arm symptoms, as well as fewer restrictions in daily activities.