January 9, 2006

MUSC Among First In The Country To Participate In Landmark Study Of Radiation

MUSC Release

CHARLESTON, S.C. (January 9, 2005) MUSC's Hollings Cancer Center is one of the first cancer centers in the country to participate in a landmark 3,000 patient National Cancer Institute breast cancer study comparing the benefits of partial breast irradiation to whole breast radiation in the treatment of early stage breast cancer.

Radiation therapy is commonly used to destroy cancer cells that remain in the breast, chest wall, or underarm area after surgery for breast cancer. Partial breast irradiation (PBI) is the practice of delivering radiation only to the tissue immediately surrounding the removed tumor, where cancer is most likely to recur, limiting radiation exposure to healthy tissue and enabling treatment to be completed in five days.

The Medical University of South Carolina has been using MammoSite, the most widely-used form of PBI and a treatment modality used in this post-market study, since it was first approved by the FDA in 2002.

"We are always looking to provide our patients with treatment choices that will be minimally-invasive and help them get back to their lives faster, and we have seen a growth in interest in partial breast irradiation in recent years," said Dr. Buddy Jenrette, radiation oncologist at the Medical University of South Carolina. "We believe that partial breast irradiation provides a safe and effective option for women undergoing radiation therapy following breast surgery and published research confirms this. Continued clinical research is important to determine patients most appropriate for newer therapies so patients and physicians can make the best possible decisions regarding their treatment."

The National Cancer Institute (NCI)'s clinical trials cooperative groups the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) and the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), issued a protocol (B-39) in February 2005 for the largest study of partial breast irradiation to date. The NCI study will expand on existing positive study results comparing PBI to whole-breast radiation therapy.

A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (2003) found that, over the course of five years, PBI produces comparable results to whole-breast radiation therapy in preventing recurrence in women with early-stage breast cancer who are treated with breast-conserving therapy. Additionally, the initiation of the NCI study will, for the first time, broaden the criteria of patients considered for PBI to include younger women.

Patients interested in more information about the study can contact Bonita Gotbaum at the Medical University of South Carolina at (843) 792-1661.

About MammoSite

MammoSite is an FDA-cleared balloon catheter that is placed in the cavity created by a lumpectomy. After implantation, radiation is delivered directly to the tissue surrounding the original tumor from a source placed inside the balloon. With MammoSite, treatment is completed in five days. Thousands of women have been treated with MammoSite at hundreds of centers across the country. Published study results have found the treatment to be an effective method to deliver radiation to appropriately selected patients. The first three-year data presented at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology meeting in October 2004 found no patients experienced local recurrence after treatment with MammoSite.

Medical University of South Carolina
Ellen Bank
t:: 843.792.2626
email:: bankelle@musc.edu