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Breast. 2003 Dec;12(6):483-90.

Intraoperative radiation therapy with electrons (ELIOT) in early-stage breast cancer.

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Division of Radiation Therapy, European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy.


Local recurrences after breast-conserving surgery occur mostly in the quadrant harbouring primary carcinoma. The main objective of postoperative radiotherapy should be the sterilisation of residual cancer cells in the operative area while irradiation of the whole breast may be avoided. We have developed a new technique of intraoperative radiotherapy of a breast quadrant after the removal of the primary carcinoma (ELIOT). A mobile linear accelerator with a robotic arm is utilised delivering electron beams able to produce energies from 3 to 9 MeV. Different dose levels were tested from 10 to 21 Gy without important side effects. A randomized trial is currently ongoing in order to compare conventional irradiation and ELIOT. More than 400 patients have been enrolled. In addition a new approach for nipple and areola complex conservation, including ELIOT, is under investigation.

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