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Radiotherapy, imaging, and metrology
The use of intraoperative electronic brachytherapy to treat breast cancer is on the rise. The treatment presents a number of benefits, especially in terms of patient comfort and cost. The INTRABEAM® system by Zeiss is the only system used in France, where it is available in around a dozen hospitals. The system uses low-energy X-rays generated by miniature tubes whose ends are fitted with sphere-shaped applicators sized to fit the surgical cavity left after the tumor is removed. The device delivers targeted, localized radiation.
On the recommendation of the French National Authority for Health, LNHB, France's national metrology laboratory for ionizing radiation and a laboratory of CEA Tech institute List, established a dosimetric reference for the INTRABEAM® system independent of the reference provided by the manufacturer. The researchers used a conventional X-ray generator to reproduce the beam emitted by the system's source associated with a sphere-shaped applicator. The dose delivered by the beam was measured, and it can now be used to calibrate detectors, in turn enabling hospital staff to calibrate the source used in treatment.
The reference established must now be compared with the reference of another metrology lab for validation. This new method for controlling the dose administered to patients could then be used for other existing intraoperative radiotherapy systems (Xoft Axxent System, Esteya, SRT-100 TM, Papillon, etc.).
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.