Arrival the day before for treatment against breast cancer, the patient left the establishment the next day. This is what intraoperative radiotherapy allows, a “medical feat” which benefited Suzanne, 65, who testifies in the newspaper nice morning. It was at the Antoine Lacassagne Center in Nice that the latter agreed to undergo this “express” intervention of a new kind. The principle ? Chain in the same day lumpectomy and a session of less than a minute of radiotherapy of contact. The patient can then go home and return for consultation only for check-ups and a mammogram every three months.
“When my surgeon asked me to participate in this protocol, I spontaneously said yes. I had confidence in him and he explained to me that I fulfilled all the selection criteria (a tumor with a good prognosis) ”, explains Suzanne on a daily basis. “I could even have arrived the very morning of the operation, but for practical reasons, I preferred to be hospitalized the day before the operation. »Currently, the treatment of small breast cancers most often relies on surgery associated with several radiotherapy sessions, which consists of using radiation to destroy cancer cells by blocking their ability to multiply, over several weeks.
A considerably shortened radiotherapy session
Consequently, this requires patients to make frequent trips back and forth between their home and their health center. As the National Cancer Institute (Inca) explains, the intraoperative radiotherapy involves delivering a single high dose of radiation during surgery directly to the tumor or to the area where the tumor was removed, reducing radiation to nearby healthy tissue. Nevertheless, this one indicates that “it is a difficult technique to organize because it requires the fitting of the operating room and the mobilization of the surgical team, anesthesia and de radiotherapy. It is carried out only in a few hospital departments ”.
The intervention, which took place at the Center Antoine Lacassagne, is different than at theofan irradiation session of 30 minutes, the patient under general anesthesia benefits from an irradiation time of only one minute thanks to a cooperation with a British start-up which made it possible to design a new device called “Papillon +”. As Professor Jean-Pierre Gérard, who took part in the intervention, explains to the newspaper, intraoperative radiotherapy has been practiced for several years but under different conditions. “In 2011, it began to develop, with a device called Intrabean,” he recounts. In all, 17,000 women with breast cancer would have benefited.
A clinical trial conducted with the Haute Autorité de santé
Three weeks after her operation, Suzanne says she is doing well: “I was in good shape the same evening,” she says. nice morning also specifies that another 90-year-old patient, having previously refused to seek treatment, agreed to benefit from this technique. Ultimately, the centre’s doctors hope that this intraoperative radiotherapy will be more generalized, which is why they are participating in a clinical trial conducted with the Haute Autorité de santé (HAS) which will include 40 patients in total. In 2016, the organization stated about this technique “that the elements are not currently in place to offer support for this technique by the Health Insurance. “
In question, work carried out in France which “does not allow to conclude to a profit in terms of quality of life for patients ”, not to mention that“ it is also not possible to define the target population most likely to benefit from it. “If the results of this clinical trial are conclusive, the doctors, who target more than 95% of satisfied patients, want this technique which could already benefit about 10% of women affected by breast cancer applies to an even larger population. According to the latest Inca figures, 54,062 new cases of breast cancer, the leading cause of cancer death in women, were diagnosed in 2015.
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