TARGIT study shows most beneficial breast cancer treatment

Choice of radiotherapy

The effectiveness for treating breast cancer using a single procedure known as 'targeted intra-operative single dose radiotherapy' has been confirmed. Single dose intra-operative radiotherapy for early stage breast cancer can be a better alternative to conventional whole breast radiotherapy in most patients. The immediate single dose TARGIT-IORT treatment during lumpectomy has been shown to be an effective alternative to EBRT (external beam radiotherapy).

The latest report on the all-important long-term survival results from an international study (TARGIT-A) have been published in the BMJ.

TARGIT-IORT during lumpectomy

The study shows that use of targeted intra-operative radiotherapy (TARGIT-IORT), as a single dose - with system called ZEISS INTRABEAM - directly after removal of a tumor, confirmed as non-inferior, when compared with external beam radiotherapy (EBRT). Comparing both methods, the risk of a local tumor recurrence in the breast is similar, but non-breast cancer death is reduced using TARGIT due to a lower number of cardiovascular events. The TARGIT-A randomized, multi-center phase 3 study involving 2,298 patients with a median patient follow-up time of 8.6 years meets the highest scientific standards.

Principal investigator Professor Jayant Vaidya, Professor of Surgery and Oncology and Scientific Director at University College, says. "These excellent results provide real clinical justification for single intraoperative radiation in suitable patients with early breast cancer. It is now essential to develop the corresponding treatment guidelines as soon as possible". 40,000 patients from around the world have already been treated with TARGIT, in over 350 cancer centers. "Single dose intra-operative radiotherapy for early stage breast cancer can be a better alternative to conventional whole breast radiotherapy for most patients during primary tumor management ".

For selected patients with early breast cancer, a single dose of radiotherapy delivered during surgery by use of targeted intraoperative radiotherapy should be considered as an alternative to external beam radiotherapy delivered over several weeks. Studies about patient satisfaction have found that patients who receive TARGIT have less pain, higher satisfaction and better health-related quality of life. Given the similar outcome and lower side effects there are obvious advantages of the TARGIT treatment.


"We are delighted with the positive results, as the ZEISS INTRABEAM 600 now represents an outstanding treatment alternative for many patients. We are confident that the procedure can now find its way into everyday clinical practice" said Ludwin Monz, CEO of Carl Zeiss Meditec AG.

Efficiency and effectiveness of TARGIT method confirmed

Professor William Small explains that the study reflects two decades of interdisciplinary clinical research by leading radiation oncologists, surgeons, physicists and health economists. The TARGIT-A trial has offered many breast cancer patients a treatment that is well tolerated, effective, convenient and highly cost efficient.

Prof Vaidya summarises: "For patients with early breast cancer who met our trial selection criteria, risk adapted immediate single dose TARGIT-IORT during lumpectomy was an effective alternative to EBRT, with comparable long term efficacy for cancer control and lower non-breast cancer mortality. TARGIT-IORT should be discussed with eligible patients when breast conserving surgery is planned".

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