UCSD logoOver the past few decades, scientists all over the world seem to have been working hard at offering effective treatment methods for cancer. A groundbreaking study triggered by the Moores UCSD Cancer Center and the Arizona Oncology Services suggests that the radiation provided with the Strut-Adjusted Volume Implant (SAVI) control the rate of cancer and lessen the complexities noted with alternate types of brachytherapy. The conclusions were drawn after analyzing patients with breast cancer.

The investigators reveal the precision and adaptability of the device to elevate the dose to the target tissue and reduce the exposure of healthy surrounding tissue and organs. Women already subjected to lumpectomy to remove a cancerous tumor may be provided with SAVI customized radiation therapy and reduce exposure to healthy tissue. The scientists affirm that SAVI includes comfortable, flexible catheters through which radiation is given.

“This is the first paper that documents the patients’ status after almost two years. After almost two years, the patients showed that the treatment was well-tolerated without experiencing significant side effects. To date, the control rate of cancer is also very promising,” quoted Catheryn Yashar, MD, associate professor of radiation oncology at the UC San Diego School of Medicine and chief of breast and gynecological radiation services at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center.

Often breast cancer patients may be recommended to undergo an internal radiation process known as brachytherapy. This could provide concentrated doses of radiation to areas of concern and at the same time avoid healthy tissue. In order to conduct the study, the investigators thoroughly scrutinized 102 patients who were treated at a median follow-up time of 21 months.

Yashar enlightened, “This treatment allows us to provide internal radiation to the area without damaging the healthy tissue around the site, and minimizes radiation to duration of only five days. The traditional whole breast treatment usually takes approximately six weeks.”

As compared to balloon brachytherapy or three-dimensional conformal radiation, SAVI seems to safely allow a heightened eligibility for patients to receive Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (APBI).

The study is published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics.