Women with early stage breast cancer now have a new treatment option available to help reduce recurrence of the disease. White Plains Hospital Center (WPHC) is one of ten U.S.
sites — and the only one in Westchester and Fairfield Counties — now participating in a clinical trial using
the Axxent® Electronic Brachytherapy System. This technology uses a miniaturized X-ray source that can deliver localized and targeted radiation treatment under the supervision of a radiation oncologist. The Hospital’s participation in the clinical trial brings improved patient access to the new cancer treatment that is delivered more easily and conveniently.
"As one of the clinical sites involved in the development of this important new breast cancer treatment, we are proud to be able to offer women an exciting new way to deliver electronic, X-ray based radiation therapy for the treatment of breast cancer," said Randy Stevens, MD, director of Radiation Oncology at the Hospital’s Dickstein Cancer Treatment Center. "A key component that sets the Electronic Brachytherapy apart from radiation regimens that involve radioactive isotopes, is that the X-ray source can be turned on and off at will, enabling it to be delivered in virtually any clinical setting rather than in heavily-shielded environments. The result is on-demand X-ray treatments that we expect will improve access to critical radiation therapy."
The FDA-cleared Axxent System involves a balloon that is inserted into the breast tissue, near the site of the tumor after lumpectomy surgery. The balloon is inflated and then a remote control computerized device sends a miniaturized radiation source into the balloon through a catheter. Radiation is emitted at the surgical site and the miniaturized source is then retracted back through the catheter.
Used to treat more than 1 million cancer patients a year, radiation therapy is administered after breast-sparing surgery to hopefully kill stray cancer cells that might remain in the breast and is proven to reduce the rate of local recurrences and improve long-term survival. Cleared by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of early stage breast cancer, the Axxent System is designed to deliver therapy directly to cancer sites with minimal radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissue. Eliminating the need for heavily shielded environments, it gives radiation oncologists the flexibility to deliver therapy in a broader range of clinical settings.