Targit Academy

Introduction

There is growing interest in accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI), which aims to decrease the volume of breast treated and increase the daily fraction size of radiation. From the available technologies only two provide partial breast irradiation in the operating room during surgery. These include use of a mobile linear accelerator and the novel technique of targeted intra-operative radiotherapy (TARGIT) using IntrabeamTM (Carl Zeiss Surgical, Oberkochen, Germany).

There has been a significant interest in the TARGIT technique since publication of the result of our randomized controlled trial in The Lancet1 which provided level-1 evidence that in early breast cancer, a single dose of radiotherapy delivered at the time of surgery using IntrabeamTM  is safe and early results have confirmed non-inferiority compared with the standard whole breast external beam radiotherapy.  There is also increasing demand by patients with early breast cancer to be offered this innovative technique due to advantages that are already outlined in this supplement.

Although the technique is relatively straightforward, the success of this technology requires adequate training and attention to details. The lessons learned from the introduction of new techniques in surgery in the past, need to be appreciated and it is vital that lack of training does not bring this powerful new technique into disrepute.