Breast surgery and radiation are done at same time — a first in Florida

Electron intraoperative radiation therapy (e-IORT) at a glance

Pioneered in Europe — and perfected in Italy — e-IORT enables oncology surgeons and radiation oncologists to treat patients simultaneously during a single procedure. Here’s some of what the technology — which JFK Medical Center unveiled earlier this month, and which Jupiter Medical Center plans to acquire soon — offers:

  • A single radiation dose instead of six to seven weeks’ worth
  • Less radiation-related damage to skin and surrounding organs and healthy tissue
  • A more targeted form of radiation than that of external radiation
  • Reduction of risk for cancer recurrence
  • Susan Rosser is not afraid of being a pioneer.
Dr. Gardner & Dr Lesnikoski

Neither is Dr. Beth-Ann Lesnikoski.

Together they — patient and surgeon — made medical history earlier this month.

Lesnikoski, along with several radiation colleagues at JFK Medical Center, performed on Rosser, 51, Florida’s first-ever breast-cancer treatment with electron intraoperative radiation therapy (e-IORT). The procedure is performed only at a handful of facilities around the U.S.

Think of it as one-stop oncology shopping: a lumpectomy with a (super-sized) side order of preventive electron radiation.

Thanks to the state-of-the-art technology of a multimillion-dollar machine from Sordina Iort Technologies, Rosser received a 45-second dose of powerful, targeted radiation while still on the operating table. The dose, Lesnikoski explains, “was the equivalent of undergoing four weeks of daily external radiation.”

What’s more, Lesnikoski continues, this form of radiation is far less harmful than standard radiation to patients’ skin, ribs, chest muscles, heart and lungs because it is administered while inside the breast — whose healthy tissue and surrounding organs are protected by an internally placed shield.

Two weeks post-surgery, Rosser says, “I feel great — and didn’t even need any pain medication.”

And Lesnikoski reports that the two-hour outpatient procedure “went as well as we could have hoped for.”

Good thing, too, considering how much time, effort, expense — and travel — went into bringing this cutting-edge treatment to the U.S.

Popular in Europe

Lesnikoski and fellow breast surgeon Dr. Robert Gardner….

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