Breast Radiation Therapy
MammoSite® 5-day Targeted Radiation Therapy
New technology, education, awareness and an increase in breast self-exams have dramatically increased early breast cancer detection. As a result, many women now have access to newer, less invasive treatments that enable them to get back to their normal lives sooner. For some breast cancer patients, the conventional radiation therapy schedule of daily treatments for five to seven consecutive weeks can be a significant obstacle to overcome. Juggling work schedules, transportation, or even distance from the treatment center makes treatment decisions difficult.
MammoSite 5-day Targeted Radiation Therapy (TRT), a new option available at the Johnson Family Cancer Center at Mercy Health Partners, was developed to provide women with early stage breast cancer with a targeted, five-day option for radiation treatment. MammoSite TRT makes it easier for more women to consider the choice of lumpectomy and provides physicians with an important tool for the practice of breast conservation therapy.
What is MammoSite 5-day Targeted Radiation Therapy?
MammoSite TRT delivers targeted radiation therapy directly into the area where cancer is most likely to recur. This minimizes radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissue and organs including the rest of the breast, skin, ribs, lungs and heart.
The device is a balloon catheter that allows physicians to internally deliver the prescribed dose of radiation to targeted breast tissue daily over the course of five days. By delivering radiation internally — directly to the tissue surrounding the original tumor — MammoSite minimizes exposure to the rest of the breast, skin, ribs, lungs and heart. The MammoSite Radiation Therapy System was cleared for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May 2002.
Why was MammoSite therapy developed?
MammoSite therapy was developed to make it easier for more women to consider the choice of lumpectomy and to provide physicians with an important new tool for the practice of breast conservation therapy.
How is treatment with MammoSite Therapy administered?
During the lumpectomy surgery or shortly thereafter, a deflated MammoSite balloon is placed inside the tumor cavity. The applicator shaft, a tube connected to the balloon, remains outside the breast. Once in place, the balloon is inflated with saline to fill the cavity. The balloon remains inflated for the entire time that the patient is receiving radiation therapy.
After the balloon is inflated, the catheter exit site is dressed and the patient may go home. The patient returns to the hospital or clinic for treatment on an outpatient basis where a radioactive "seed" is inserted within the inflated balloon, beginning a sequence of two daily 15-minute treatments over the course of five days. No source of radiation remains in the patient's body between treatments or after the final procedure. When the therapy is concluded, the MammoSite balloon is deflated and removed.
Can any breast cancer patient be treated with MammoSite Targeted Radiation Therapy (TRT)?
After a review of extensive clinical studies, two independent Physician Societies (American Society of Breast Surgeons and American Brachytherapy Society) have created patient selection recommendations for MammoSite TRT. The American Society of Breast Surgeons and the American Brachytherapy Society have recommendations for patient selection including women 45 and older (ASBS) or 50 and older (ABS) with small total tumor size (3 cm or less), that hasn't spread to the lymph nodes, among other selection criteria. It is important to talk with your physician to determine if MammoSite TRT is a treatment option for you.
Is treatment with the MammoSite covered by health insurance?
Companies representing more than 180 million insured lives cover MammoSite as a breast cancer treatment. Specific coverage for the MammoSite will depend on a patient's individual health care plan.
Where is MammoSite currently available?
The Johnson Family Cancer Center at Mercy Health Partners is the only cancer center along the Lakeshore to offer this treatment option. It is also available in hundreds of cancer centers across the country. Women interested in more information on MammoSite Therapy are invited to visit www.mammosite.com to obtain more information about the treatment or www.VoicesOfMammoSite.com to connect with breast cancer survivors to learn more about their breast cancer experience and treatment with MammoSite.
To receive an information packet about MammoSite at the Johnson Family Cancer Center, call 231-672-2008.