A Marshfield Clinic Health System team of breast cancer specialists can treat some early stage breast cancers in 12 days. This is done using a procedure called accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) that includes the SAVI device.
The treatment is used to kill the remaining tumor cells at the source after a lumpectomy. It is an alternative to whole breast radiation that takes much less time.
SAVI (Strut Adjusted Volume Implant) uses a special catheter to pinpoint radiation in the breast during 10 treatments over five days.
The team includes a dedicated breast surgeon, radiation oncologist and pathologist. Special training is needed to provide this treatment.
“The local recurrence is very, very low because the doses we give with the SAVI are actually much higher than we can with external beam. This is because we put the radiation seeds right at the risk area,” said Dr. Patricia Lillis, a radiation oncologist. She performs the radiation treatment at Marshfield Clinic Cancer Center-Stevens Point.
The lumpectomy is completed at Marshfield Medical Center, while the radiation treatments can be completed at Marshfield or Stevens Point cancer centers.