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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2006 Dec 1;66(5):1335-8. Epub 2006 Nov 2.

Targeted intraoperative radiotherapy (TARGIT) yields very low recurrence rates when given as a boost.

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Department of Surgery and Molecular Oncology, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK.



Patients undergoing breast-conserving surgery were offered boost radiotherapy with targeted intraoperative radiotherapy (TARGIT) using the Intrabeam system to test the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of the new approach.


We treated 302 cancers in 301 unselected patients. This was not a low-risk group. One-third of patients (98/301) were younger than 51 years of age. More than half of the tumors (172, 57%) were between 1 cm and 2 cm, and one-fifth (62, 21%) were >2 cm; 29% (86) had a Grade 3 tumor and, in 29% (87), axillary lymph nodes contained metastasis. After primary surgery, 20 Gy was delivered intraoperatively to the surface of the tumor bed, followed by external-beam radiotherapy (EBRT), but excluding the usual boost.


The treatment was well tolerated. The follow-up ranged from 3 to 80 months (164 and 90 patients completed 2 and 3 years follow-up, respectively). Four patients (1.3%) had local recurrence. The Kaplan-Meier estimate of local recurrence is 2.6% (SE = 1.7) at 5 years. This compares favorably with the 4.3% recurrence rate in boosted patients from the EORTC boost study, in which only 8.1% patients were node-positive, as opposed to 29% in our series.


Targeted intraoperative radiotherapy combined with EBRT results in a low local recurrence rate. This could be attributed to both accurate targeting and timeliness of the treatment. These data support the need for a randomized trial to test whether the TARGIT boost is superior to conventional external boost, especially in high-risk women.

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