Intraoperative Radiotherapy (TARGIT-IORT) is a revolutionary breast cancer treatment. Over a quarter of women with early breast cancer may be suitable for IORT. Sometimes it is called TARGIT IORT, meaning targeted intra-operative radiotherapy that is given during the breast-conserving surgery operation.
It can replace traditional radiotherapy for selected patients, allowing patients to receive all of their surgery and radiotherapy in a single day. It is a technique that allows the specialist to treat only the breast tissue around the original site of the cancer, yet spare the other organs (such as the heart or lungs) from potentially damaging radiation treatment.
Intraoperative radiotherapy was first used in London in 1998 and has been used to treat more than 30,000 breast cancer patients worldwide in 250 centres. At present there are six specialist breast centres able to offer this treatment in the United Kingdom.