An innovative breast radiotherapy method that spares the heart and lungs has been introduced at HYGEIA Hospital. The method is performed by the Radiotherapy & Oncology Center using the Active Breathing CoordinatorTM (ABC) system by Elekta. The system allows to deliver radiation during a specific breathing phase, protecting the heart and lungs.
Specifically, radiotherapy is given during the inhalation phase, when the distance between the heart and the mammary gland is the largest, while the radiation dose to the heart and lungs is reduced. As noted by the Director of the HYGEIA Hospital Radiotherapy & Oncology Center, Mr Konstantinos Dardoufas, “In the last few years, the breast cancer survival rates have been steadily increasing, so it is necessary to protect the neighboring organs to avoid late side effects. A large percentage of women also undergo chemotherapy, depending on the stage of the disease. Chemotherapy may place a further burden on healthy tissues, such as the heart and lungs, so the side effects may be more intense if treatment is followed by radiotherapy. Therefore, it is extremely important to protect the heart and lungs during radiotherapy, limiting subsequent side effects.”
Combined with the only Elekta VERSA HDΤΜ linear accelerator installed in Greece, at HYGEIA Hospital, this method ensures fast and safe radiotherapy for patients, using the advanced ΙMRT/VMAT techniques. The accuracy of the treatment is also ensured with the IGRT technique, i.e. using low-dose CT to correct position for the patient.
The ABC technique may also be used to treat lesions in the lungs and liver, as well as other moving – due to respiratory function – tumors ensuring maximum accuracy during radiation.