In This Issue

APBI Reimbursement

Radiation Safety

Your Thoughts: Breast MRI

SAVI Users Named Centers of Excellence in APBI

Across the country, facilities are earning recognition for their dedication to education, training and experience in APBI.

Click here to see which facilities have already earned this distinction!

To receive the Center of Excellence designation,
physicians, medical physicists and clinical staff were required to
complete a comprehensive training and education program to demonstrate
proficiency in delivering radiation therapy with SAVI.

To learn more about the benefits of being a Center of Excellence, email

BrachyBytes Editorial Advisory Board
Robert Kuske, M.D.

Coral Quiet, M.D
Jay Reiff, Ph.D.
Dan Scanderbeg, Ph.D.
John Sweet, M.S.
Catheryn Yashar, M.D.

Vic Zannis, M.D.


Upcoming Events

American Society for Radiation Oncology
Oct 31-Nov 1, 2010
San Diego, CA


Follow-up Links

Past Issues

Cianna Medical

The Pinnacle Health Group


May 2010

Money Talks: APBI & Reimbursement
Kathy Francisco, The Pinnacle Health Group

It could possibly be every physician’s least favorite topic, but unfortunately reimbursement is a key component of practice management.

Whether you’ve been offering APBI for years or you’re just starting out, overlooking key reimbursement considerations can significantly impact your ability to offer the benefits of 5-day radiation therapy to your patients.

Kathy FranHoustoncisco of The Pinnacle Health Group – one of the nation’s leading reimbursement consulting groups – reveals what every physician needs to know about reimbursement for APBI. Read More


Cianna MHoustonedical Joins Radiation Safety Discussion

A January 2010 series of articles in the New York Times raised several questions about the safety of radiation therapy. Since then, healthcare providers and manufacturers — including Cianna Medical — have been discussing the quality and safety controls that should be taken to prevent radiation errors.

In “Safety First..” (RT Image, May 17, 2010), Cianna
Medical is featured as a vendor that is using innovative solutions to
increase the quality and safety of radiation, including: employing three
full-time physicists, comprehensive training, oversight of initial
cases and clinical orientation for support staff. Read More

“Doubt Cast Over Radiation Safety” (Imaging Technology News, April 2010) features Cianna Medical Chief Science Officer James Stubbs, PhD and radiation oncologist Robert Kuske, MD in a discussion about what medical societies and manufacturers can do to increase the safety of radiation therapy. Read More


Your Response: Is Breast MRI Necessary?

Our series of articles on Breast MRI & APBI Patient Selection  generated a great deal of response from our readers, particularly our February 2010 article featuring Michael Berry, MD, who explained
why he thinks MRI is a useful but overutilized tool.

Here’s what some of your fellow physicians had to say in response:

“I disagree with
the thought ‘all breast cancer patients get an MRI.’ Breast cancer is not
cookie cutter and unfortunately many providers are starting to practice it that
way. We’ve been utilizing MRI for 13 years at UCSD and have a
clear understanding of its benefits and problems. For the affected breast, MRI
may help us uncover those patients who years ago would have had several
lumpectomies with positive margins and eventually would have had a mastectomy.
However, I do believe MRI is leading to more bilateral mastectomies as patients
choose more aggressive surgery out of fear.”
Anne Wallace, MD

Director of UCSD Moores Cancer Center Breast Program

Professor of Clinical Surgery, UCSD
San Diego, CA

“I agree wholeheartedly with Dr. Berry. My use of
MRI is roughly the same. I recently chaired a Scripps Health committee to
develop criteria for the use of MRI both as a screening and diagnostic tool. We
anticipate this will not change patterns of practice for some – but it will be
food for thought.”
Ira Levine, MD

General Surgeon

San Diego, CA

of MRI] increases the patient’s anxiety, definitely increases the cost of the
overall treatment, and has increased the consideration of mastectomy in
patients we had traditionally cured with breast conservation…Patients rarely
have any idea of the complexity, pain and rehab associated with reconstructive
surgery…and they have an uneducated perspective that mastectomy is a more
curative procedure.”
Pollock, MD, PhD


Schiffler Cancer Center

Wheeling, WV

The use of breast MRI in APBI patient selection continues to be a hot topic, so we want to hear what YOU think. Do you use MRI for a majority of your patients, or do you think it does more harm than good?

Email your thoughts to