November 06, 2006
PHOENIX — Arizona Oncology Services today announced it is the first medical
facility in the nation to treat a patient using SAVI, an advanced radiation treatment that is
part of breast-conserving therapy for breast cancer.
Robert Kuske, M.D., one of the nation’s leading radiation oncologists, performed
the first two cases using the SAVI device, a single-entry, multi-catheter applicator that
delivers partial breast irradiation.
The new, FDA-cleared SAVI device may provide advantages both for women with
early-stage breast cancer and their physicians.
Breast-conserving therapy encompasses lumpectomy (surgical removal of the
cancerous tissue within the breast plus tissue immediately around the tumor) and follow-up
radiation. While follow-up radiation has traditionally involved irradiation of the entire
breast with an external beam, Arizona Oncology Services has been a leader in developing
techniques in breast brachytherapy, an approach that targets the tumor site from inside the
Whole breast irradiation can be inconvenient for the patient and involves a lengthy
treatment course, with radiation delivered five times a week over a 6-7 week period. For
eligible women, breast brachytherapy typically involves two treatments per day for only
The SAVI technique being performed by Dr. Kuske and his colleagues at AOS may
improve upon earlier breast brachytherapy procedures by preventing radiation damage to
the skin or chest wall.
“After breast-conserving surgery, ideal radiation therapy tailors the radiation dose
to only the breast tissue that is at high risk for microscopic cancer cells, sparing healthy
tissue,” said Dr. Kuske. “In comparison to many other breast brachytherapy procedures,
SAVI may reduce skin and breast toxicities. This approach may also make the benefits of
partial breast irradiation available to more women.”
Arizona Oncology Services (AOS) is a radiation oncology practice that was formed
in 1981. With a team of 24 physicians and 13 locations in the greater Phoenix area and
Yuma, AOS is a nationally recognized leader in numerous radiation techniques including
accelerated partial breast therapy, brachytherapy, prostate seed implants, stereotactic
radiosurgery, and monoclonal antibody radiation therapy. AOS physicians and staff
partner with physicians, patients, and families to provide superior radiation oncology care
with a focus on leading edge treatment, empathy and compassion.