Thousands could benefit from new breast cancer therapy

Thousands of women could benefit from a "revolutionary" new breast cancer treatment which could be delivered in a single dose of radiotherapy during surgery rather than several courses of treatment.

The "intrabeam therapy" has been given the green light by the NHS and the National Institute for Health and Care excellence (Nice) said the treatment option should be considered for people with early stage breast cancer.

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New radiotherapy 'eliminates need for numerous visits'

An innovative radiotherapy treatment will "eliminate the need for numerous hospital visits" and greatly improve the patient's quality of life, a health chief said.

Professor Carole Longson, 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.

Whilst current evidence was not extensive, this type of radiotherapy was more convenient for patients and can improve a person's quality of life.

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.

– Professor Carole Longson

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