Breast Cancer Radiation Therapy: MRI-guided APBI | Loyola Medicine
Friday, April 12, 2019

New Breast Cancer Radiation Therapy Shortens Treatment, Reduces Side Effects

medical scan of breasts
MAYWOOD, IL –  Loyola Medicine and Palos Health are offering a new breast cancer radiation therapy that shortens the treatment time by three weeks, while reducing side effects.
The treatment is offered to patients who have undergone lumpectomies for early-stage breast cancer that has not spread to lymph nodes. It's called MRI-guided accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI).
The treatment is available at the Loyola Center for Cancer Care and Research at Palos Health South Campus in Orland Park. The center is the only site in Illinois that offers MRI-guided APBI.
Traditionally, breast cancer patients who received radiation after lumpectomies were treated on 33 days over 6 ½ weeks. Over the past few years, the regimen has shortened to 20 days over four weeks.
MRI-guided APBI shortens the regimen further. The patient receives two radiation treatments per day for five days in a row. The daily treatments are given six hours apart in the morning and afternoon, said Loyola Medicine radiation oncologist Tamer Refaat Abdelrhman, MD, PhD, MSCI.
MRI-guided APBI is administered by a groundbreaking radiation system called MRIdian® Linac. The Loyola Palos center is the first in Illinois – and only the fifth in the country – to offer the system, which targets tumors with millimeter precision. An ultra-sharp beam of radiation is delivered precisely to the tumor cavity, even if body functions such as breathing cause movement during treatment. This minimizes damage to surrounding tissues.
In traditional breast cancer radiation therapy, the radiation usually is delivered to the entire breast. In standard APBI treatment, the radiation is limited to a 2.5 cm.-thick rim of healthy tissue surrounding the lumpectomy cavity. In APBI guided by MRI imaging, there's even less exposure to heathy tissue – the margin is only 1 cm. to 1.5 cm. thick. The tighter margin and highly precise MRI guidance throughout every radiation treatment likely will reduce side effects, Dr. Tamer Abdelrhman said.
For more information on MRI-guided APBI, or to make an appointment, call 708-873-2450.
Loyola Medicine also is offering a radiation therapy for certain early-stage breast cancer patients that provides all the radiation they require in a single concentrated dose delivered during surgery. After the tumor is removed, a high, focused dose of radiation is delivered directly to the tumor cavity to kill any microscopic cancer cells left behind. It's called intraoperative radiotherapy, or IORT. (Intraoperative means during surgery.)
After the breast surgeon has removed the tumor, a spherical radiation device is placed in the tumor cavity to deliver the radiation. Because the radiation does not have to travel through healthy tissue to reach the site, much higher doses can be safely applied.

About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 94 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 133,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.