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APBI Condenses Radiation Therapy for Early-Stage Breast Cancer Patients

May 20, 2022

Radiation oncologists at Orlando Health Cancer Institute are using novel accelerated partial-breast irradiation (APBI) to significantly shorten the course of radiation treatment for select patients suffering early-stage breast cancer. APBI divides the total postsurgical radiation prescribed into a few high-dose treatments, reducing the course to a five-day schedule. 

Cameron Swanick, MD
Cameron Swanick, MD

“The standard of care for early-stage patients getting breast radiation after surgery has been three to four weeks of daily treatment,” says Cameron Swanick, MD, a board-certified radiation oncologist with Orlando Health Cancer Institute. “But this schedule can be daunting to the patient in terms of just their commute for treatment.”

Studies show a shorter schedule of radiotherapy that focuses on a part of the breast also provides better cosmetic outcomes, less toxicity and fewer side effects than an extended full-breast protocol.

“Published trials with 10-year follow-up have demonstrated the effectiveness and safety of APBI and provide confidence that breast recurrence rates will be very low,” says Dr. Swanick. “I've been pleased with my patients’ cosmesis and overall well-being following this type of treatment. They have had very few side effects from shorter courses.”

Dr. Swanick specializes in advanced radiation treatments, including intracranial stereotactic radiosurgery, proton therapy, accelerated partial-breast irradiation, intensity modulated radiation therapy and gynecologic high-dose rate brachytherapy. She has performed multiple APBI treatments at Orlando Health’s high-volume institute over the past year.

“Not everybody is going to be a perfect candidate for a five-day course,” says Dr. Swanick. “But at Orlando Health, we have the ability to provide every patient with the most effective and least toxic treatment for which they are eligible.”

Orlando Health Cancer Institute is home to the most advanced cancer-treatment technology, including the Center for Proton Therapy and MRIdian® MRI-guided radiation therapy, the first such in Central Florida. The institute’s radiation program is accredited by the American College of Radiology, with treatments monitored by an experienced team of therapists and physicists.

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