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Intra-Operative Radiation Therapy (IORT) at UMM

Since 2002 intra-operative Radiation Therapy (IORT) at the University Medical Centre, Mannheim, involves the delivery of precise radiation dose to a patient in the operating room during a surgical procedure. The IORT treatment device that is used in our institution is the Carl Zeiss INTRABEAM® system consisting of a small x-ray generator, a control unit, a mobile support stand, equipment for quality assurance and applicators for dedicated treatment sites The device generates soft (“diagnostic”) x-rays (max. 50 kV) which show a rapid attenuation in the surrounding tissue, leading to a well-localized dose delivery to the treated site and a reduced risk of normal tissue complications.

 Treatment time with the device varies from as little as 3 minutes to up to 50 minutes, depending on the volume of the treated site and the prescribed dose to the target volume. The patient remains under the influence of the surgical anesthetics during radiation delivery. Some advantages of the IORT procedure includes a more localized dose delivery to the target and a high single fraction dose, which means less number of visits to the hospital when compared to External Beam Radiation Therapy.
In our institution the INTRABEAM® system is used for:

  1. Tumor bed treatment
    -    breast cancer
    -    gliomas (clinical trials only)

  2. Metastatic treatment
    -    Kypho-IORT (spinal metastasis)

  3.  Boost treatment of elusive respectable tumor regions
    -    colorectal cancer
    -    sarcomas
    -    head & neck cancer
    -    others

  4. Postoperative brachytherapy
    -    endometrial cancer


The Mannheim Medical centre conducts regular IORT training programs for physicians and physicists from across the globe and also hosts an annual meeting of INTRABEAM® users worldwide. Various radiobiological, dosimetric and further applications for the INTRABEAM® researches are ongoing in our institution.


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last modified: 28-Apr-15
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