Dr. Harness explains if there is a less debilitating form of radiation therapy being developed for breast cancer patients.
Dr. Harness, M.D.:
Absolutely. It’s not only on the horizon, but less extensive partial breast radiation therapy is here now, has been here, and is available in selected patients and on national clinical treatment protocols and also on institutional treatment protocols.
The area is called partial breast radiation therapy, or the Canadian regimen is a shortened radiation therapy regimen. And so, instead of the classic sort of six weeks of radiation, whole breast therapies, we’re seriously looking at whole breasts perhaps being shortened toward a Canadian regimen, which is in the neighborhood of around three weeks or so. But the category of partial breast where a balloon catheter can be placed in the breast just treating that area, and there are now different kinds of partial breasts.
And one of the areas that I am particularly excited about is intraoperative radiation therapy, which is very large in Europe, where you have a single treatment of radiation therapy while you are asleep in the operating room. But again, in the United States at least, these will need to be done under protocol, and there are selective cases where this is going to be very acceptable.
About Dr. Harness, M.D.:
Dr. Jay Harness, M.D., is the Director at St. Joseph Hospital Comprehensive Breast Center. Practicing medicine for 35 years, Dr. Harness specializes in general surgery and medical oncology. Graduating medical school from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, he conducting his internship and residency at the University of Michigan Medical Center. Recognized nationally and internationally for his work in breast and endocrine surgery, Dr. Harness is the immediate past-President of The American Society of Breast Surgeons and is President-elect of Breast Surgery International. Dr. Harness can assist patients in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.