NICE to recommend 'single dose' radiotherapy during breast surgery

July 28, 2014, Cancer Research UK

In new draft guidance, The National Institute for Health and Care excellence (NICE) is set to recommend a new form of radiotherapy for people with early stage breast cancer.

The treatment, known as Intrabeam Radiotherapy, can be given during surgery instead of as a course of treatment. A clinical trial in 2013 suggested it was likely to be as effective as conventional radiotherapy.

However it is likely to be some time before clinical staff have been trained to use the technique, and that all treatment centres have access to the equipment needed to deliver it.

Professor Carole Longson, NICE's director of health technology evaluation at NICE, said: "Unlike regular radiotherapy, with the Intrabeam Radiotherapy System only one dose is required.

"This single dose is given at the same time as surgery, eliminating the need for numerous hospital visits.

"Regular radiotherapy typically requires numerous doses over a three week period - although some people may receive it for longer - and is performed weeks or months after surgery or chemotherapy."

Emma Greenwood, Cancer Research UK's head of policy said the announcement could be "good news" for breast cancer patients.

"Giving radiotherapy in a single dose at the time of surgery potentially offers a huge benefit, especially if it means fewer visits to hospital," she added.

"Radiotherapy is already a very effective treatment, and this technique offers another valuable option for treating early breast cancer."

But NICE said that because the technique was new, it was recommending its use in a "controlled way", and that patients should be fully informed about the pros and cons of treatment.

"It's still a new treatment - so far only six centres in the UK have used the Intrabeam Radiotherapy System to treat early breast cancer," added Longson.

And since the treatment is so new, doctors would need to gather more evidence about the treatment's long term effectiveness, she said.

Cancer Research UK's Emma Greenwood agreed. "It's essential that those who receive this radiotherapy are followed up for a long period of time to ensure the single dose is as at least as effective as the standard treatment," she said.

Every year, around 41,500 women and 300 men in England are diagnosed with .

NICE said that around 86 per cent of these patients, or 35,970 people each year, could potentially benefit from the treatment.

The guidance is now open for consultation until August 15, with a final recommendation expected later this year.

A Intrabeam machine costs £435,000 plus VAT and maintenance of the machine is expected to cost in the region of £35,000 a year.

Explore further: Single-dose radiotherapy during surgery 'effective in preventing breast cancer return'

More information: The consultation documents are available online: www.nice.org.uk/Guidance/InDevelopment/GID-TAG353

Related Stories

Single-dose radiotherapy during surgery 'effective in preventing breast cancer return'

November 12, 2013
A single dose of targeted radiotherapy delivered during or just after surgery could benefit some women undergoing treatment for early breast cancer, two new European studies suggest.

Experimental 'pulse radiotherapy' kills cancer cells while sparing healthy tissue

July 17, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—French researchers have developed a new radiation technique that appears to target tumour cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed, according to a new study in mice. 

Radiotherapy could spare bladder cancer patients surgery

October 1, 2013
Radiotherapy is an effective treatment for aggressive bladder cancer and could spare patients surgery that removes the whole bladder, according to a study published in this month's International Journal of Radiation Oncology ...

Single-dose radiotherapy treatment improves cancer recovery

February 5, 2014
Western Australian breast cancer patients are helping to boost evidence for a single-dose radiotherapy regime, with researchers hoping to provide a new option that is both effective and more convenient.

Study confirms fewer, bigger doses of radiotherapy benefit breast cancer patients

December 7, 2012
A lower total dose of radiotherapy, delivered in fewer, larger treatments, is as safe and effective at treating early breast cancer as the international standard dose, according to the 10-year follow-up results of a major ...

Avoiding radiotherapy is an option for some older patients with breast cancer

December 11, 2013
Omission of radiotherapy is a reasonable option for women age 65 or older who receive hormone therapy after breast-conserving surgery for hormone receptor-positive, axillary node-negative breast cancer, according to results ...

Recommended for you

Boosting cancer therapy with cross-dressed immune cells

January 22, 2018
Researchers at EPFL have created artificial molecules that can help the immune system to recognize and attack cancer tumors. The study is published in Nature Methods.

Cancer patients who tell their life story find more peace, less depression

January 22, 2018
Fifteen years ago, University of Wisconsin–Madison researcher Meg Wise began interviewing cancer patients nearing the end of life about how they were living with their diagnosis. She was surprised to find that many asked ...

Single blood test screens for eight cancer types

January 18, 2018
Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers developed a single blood test that screens for eight common cancer types and helps identify the location of the cancer.

Researchers find a way to 'starve' cancer

January 18, 2018
Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) have demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to starve a tumor and stop its growth with a newly discovered small compound that blocks uptake of the vital ...

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

January 18, 2018
Cancer metastasis, the migration of cells from a primary tumor to form distant tumors in the body, can be triggered by a chronic leakage of DNA within tumor cells, according to a team led by Weill Cornell Medicine and Memorial ...

Modular gene enhancer promotes leukemia and regulates effectiveness of chemotherapy

January 18, 2018
Every day, billions of new blood cells are generated in the bone marrow. The gene Myc is known to play an important role in this process, and is also known to play a role in cancer. Scientists from the German Cancer Research ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.