MammoSite® 5-day targeted radiation therapy: Moving breast cancer treatment forward.
An option when cancer is found early.
Over the past two decades, developments in technology have expanded women's options for treatment of breast cancer. Where mastectomy was once considered the only course of treatment, Breast Conserving Therapy (BCT) has become a viable option with similar survival rates.
Today, BCT is recommended for most early-stage cancers - those smaller than 3 cm and that have not spread to the lymph nodes. First, the cancer will be removed with a lumpectomy. Then, radiation will be used to damage any remaining cancer cells. Since cancer cells can't repair themselves, they can't replicate, reducing the chance of cancer recurring.
What is MammoSite 5-day targeted radiation therapy?
The MammoSite® radiation therapy system received FDA clearance in 2002.
Since then, over 50,000 women have been treated.5
MammoSite targeted radiation therapy works from the inside, meaning that a higher daily dose can be used for a shorter period of time - 5 days vs. 5-7 weeks.
MammoSite® 5-day targeted radiation therapy provides an option for shorter-duration treatment in BCT, with technology that minimizes damage to other healthy cells and tissues. With its multi-lumen design, the new MammoSite ML device gives radiation oncologists the ability to shape the radiation dose for typical cases and treat patients who are otherwise not appropriate candidates for traditional brachytherapy.
Targeted vs. conventional radiation therapy
With conventional radiation therapy, beams of radiation are delivered from outside the breast. These beams pass through the skin and internal tissues to treat the entire breast. Treatment generally involves daily doses of radiation for 6-7 weeks.
With MammoSite therapy, radiation is delivered from inside the breast and lumpectomy cavity. This targets radiation directly to the area where cancer is most likely to recur1, and has several advantages:
- Radiation exposure and effects are limited to a small internal area - avoiding skin discoloration, burning and scarring that often happen with conventional radiation therapy. With targeted treatment, there's generally little change in appearance and less fatigue.
- Higher daily doses can be delivered over a shorter period of time - two doses a day for 5 days, allowing women to get back to their normal lives and activities sooner.
In addition, studies have shown both survival rate and recurrence rate with targeted therapy are comparable to conventional therapy.
How MammoSite therapy works
After the breast cancer tumor is removed (lumpectomy), a small, soft MammoSite balloon attached to a thin tube (catheter) is placed inside the lumpectomy cavity through a small incision in the breast.
- The balloon is "inflated" with saline solution so that it fits snugly into the cavity. It remains inflated during the 5-day treatment.
- A small portion of the catheter remains outside the breast; this is secured to a cushioned gauze pad to prevent movement of the catheter.
- Treatment is planned by a radiation oncologist who will take images of the MammoSite balloon catheter in the breast and determine the amount of radiation needed.
- During therapy, the portion of the catheter that remains outside your breast is connected to a computer-controlled High Dose Rate (HDR) machine that inserts a radiation "seed" to deliver the therapy.
- Once therapy is complete, the seed is removed, the catheter is unplugged, and you will be free to return to your normal daily activities.
- No radiation remains inside your breast in between treatments.
- After 5 days of treatment, your MammoSite balloon catheter will be removed, usually on the last day of treatment.
- The balloon is gently removed through the same incision made to place it.
1. King TA, Bolton, JS, Kuske RR, et al. Long-term results of wide-field brachytherapy as the sole method of radiation therapy after segmental mastectomy for Tis, 1, 2, breast cancer. Am J Surg. 2000: 180:299-304.