Press Releases

Surgeon’s Group Underscores Value of New Breast Cancer Radiation Therapy

December 17, 2009

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A new statement on breast cancer by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) underscores the value of an advanced approach to post-surgical radiation therapy provided by the Breast Clinic of Memphis.

The ACS document describes the advantages of accelerated partial breast irradiation such as SAVI® radiation therapy provided at the Breast Clinic of Memphis.

The consensus statement says accelerated partial breast irradiation “is an approach that may allow more patients to undergo breast-conserving therapy more quickly, at lower cost, and with less risk of long-term complications.” Among the techniques it lists for delivering APBI is brachytherapy with “open single-entry devices with multiple lumens,” a category that includes the SAVI applicator.

“The design of SAVI is quite ingenious in the way it resolves problematic issues presented by other breast brachytherapy methods,” said Michael Berry, M.D., a surgeon at the Breast Clinic of Memphis who is also a course instructor for ACS. “It’s easy to place and comfortable for patients. The device’s expandable array of multiple catheters allows us to customize the radiation dose to the patient’s needs and anatomy. This creates a safer procedure for women with certain body types or tumor locations.”

Working with Dr. Berry to provide SAVI is radiation oncologist Michael Farmer, M.D., of the Memphis Professional Radiological Corporation (MPRC).

“This device is more versatile than balloon brachytherapy because unlike the balloon, it can be used with small-breasted women and women whose lumpectomy cavities are close to the skin,” Dr. Farmer said. “You can lower the dose to healthy tissue such as the heart, ribs, and lungs and then concentrate the dose on the area where it’s really needed. This advantage makes the benefits of breast brachytherapy available to significantly more women.”

SAVI is one of the newest methods for providing APBI, a shortened course of high-dose radiation therapy for early-stage breast cancer patients following lumpectomy surgery. The treatment is completed in just five days – compared to the six weeks of treatment, five days a week, required for traditional, external-beam radiation.

The device’s unique multi-catheter design allows physicians to target radiation to the area that needs it most, minimizing exposure to healthy tissue. Precisely sculpted radiation is delivered from within the breast and targets the area where the cancer is most likely to recur.

Clinical studies show that SAVI provides greater flexibility and fewer complications compared to other forms of breast brachytherapy.

The ACS statement, titled “Image-Detected Breast Cancer: State-of-the-Art Diagnosis and Treatment,” was published in the October 2009 issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Memphis Professional Radiological Corp.
MPRC physicians are partners in the mission of Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare, providing care for patients throughout Memphis and beyond. MRPC also directs and provide the principal faculty for the University of Tennessee/Methodist Radiology Residency. For more information call 901-685-2696 or access memphisradiological.com.

Dr. Berry and the Breast Clinic of Memphis
The Breast Clinic of Memphis is focused entirely on treating cancer and other diseases of the breast. Dr. Berry is a consultant and speaker for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. He serves as course instructor for the American College of Surgeons, the American Society of Breast Surgeons, and the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center. He is committed to bringing the highest level of breast care to the Mid-South by incorporating his expertise in the newest technologies and advancements available for both the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. For more information, call 901-692-9600 or access breastclinicmemphis.com.

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