Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation | UnityPoint Health -Des Moines
UnityPoint Health - John Stoddard Cancer Center

Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (APBI)

At John Stoddard Cancer Center, patients can undergo APBI using one of three catheters: Contoura™, MammoSite® and SAVI™. The size of a patient's breast, as well as the size and location of the tumor, determines which applicator is best to use. After the catheter in the patient is connected to the remote afterloader, the radioactive source-a capsule on the end of a cable that's coiled up inside the afterloader-spools out and enters the balloon catheter inside the patient's breast. Once inside the breast, the source delivers radiation for a specified amount of time based on the size of the tumor, typically approximately five minutes. Finally, the cable coils back into the afterloader, removing the radioactive source from the catheter, and treatment is finished. The twice-daily treatments are usually performed at six-hour intervals. View a Demonstration on the MammoSite® website.

Candidates for this procedure have early-stage breast cancer (stage I or stage II) and have had a lumpectomy at Stoddard. If it is discovered that the woman's tumor is too close to the surface of the skin, or if the lumpectomy cavity is not uniform, the cancer center will administer external radiation from the high-dose-rate machine. Women from the clinical trial will be tracked to determine whether partial breast irradiation is as effective in treating breast cancer as whole breast irradiation.

Learn more about APBI by reading about a Stoddard patient who was treated with this technology - Deborah: A Patient Story.