Cancer Institute A national cancer institute
designated cancer center

Intraoperative Radiation Therapy

How Intraoperative Radiation Therapy Works

In the intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) protocol, a high dose of radiation is focused on the remaining tissue surrounding a tumor that has been removed during surgery while the patient is still in the operating room. 

Appropriate patient selection and expert surgical technique are both critical to the success of IORT because clean margins must be present after the tumor is removed before it is advisable to limit radiation treatment to just the tumor site.

Benefits of Intraoperative Radiation Therapy

In some cases, no further radiation treatment is required following IORT making it a much more convenient approach for delivering therapy.  Furthermore, physicians are able to shield surrounding organs from radiation, limiting side effects to healthy tissue.

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