TARGIT IORT is targeted intraoperative radiotherapy treatment given during lumpectomy for breast cancer using INTRABEAM.

Conceived in the UK more than 20 years ago, thoroughly tested in clinical trials, TARGIT IORT treatment is widely used to treat breast cancer patients across the world.


“The most important benefit of TARGIT for a woman with breast cancer is that it allows her to complete her entire local treatment [lumpectomy and radiation therapy] at the time of her operation, with lower toxicity.”  

Lancet 2014;383:603-613

"..TARGIT-IORT has similar long term local control and cancer survival outcomes to whole breast radiotherapy.
Mortality from other causes was lower in the TARGIT-IORT arm
Single dose TARGIT-IORT during lumpectomy should be .. discussed with patients when surgery for breast cancer is being planned."

British Medical Journal 2020;370:m2836

Using TARGIT-IORT during lumpectomy for breast cancer patients is of special relevance during the current COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. 

By taking TARGIT-IORT during lumpectomy, subsequent travel for postoperative radiotherapy could be entirely avoided. and the risk of viral exposure greatly reduced. 

A short video about TARGIT-IORT for breast cancer

A Patient's View

National TV: NICE Recommendation

Reduced Mortality

Environmental and Social Benefits

Featured content

The TARGIT-A randomised clinical trial of Intrabeam TARGIT IORT

About 70% of patients with breast cancer are eligible for breast-conserving surgery (a lumpectomy), after which the remaining breast is treated with radiotherapy; this avoids a full mastectomy. Traditionally, external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) is delivered to the entire breast in small doses every day for 3– 6 weeks, necessitating patients to travel to and from the radiotherapy centre every working day. This can be impractical and strenuous.


The TARGIT (TARGeted Intraoperative radioTherapy or IORT) procedure precisely delivers radiation in a single dose during the lumpectomy operation over 15– 35 minutes, using a ball-shaped device that is placed in the space where the tumour was. This way, unnecessary potentially harmful radiation to healthy tissues (skin, heart, lungs, etc.) is avoided and the areas nearest to the tumour site receive the most radiation. In this way, four-fifths of patients avoid EBRT altogether.


Intrabeam single-dose TARGIT-IORT  during lumpectomy was compared with conventional whole breast post-operative radiotherapy (EBRT) in the TARGIT-A randomised clinical trial. Of 2298 women aged≥ 45 years who were planned for a lumpectomy for invasive ductal breast cancer, 1140 were randomly allocated to receive TARGIT-IORT during lumpectomy and 1158 to receive whole breast external beam radiotherapy after the operation. The trial started in March 2000, so the latest analysis can tell us how the two treatments fared in the long-term.  As per the latest results TARGIT-IORT during lumpectomy, is as effective as EBRT in controlling the cancer. In addition, TARGIT-IORT had fewer side effects and fewer deaths from heart attacks, lung problems, or other cancers. TARGIT IORT would be less expensive than EBRT, potentially saving the NHS up to £9.1 million a year, without considering the cost savings to patients.

Research has confirmed that Targeted intraoperative radiotherapy IORT during lumpectomy is an effective, safer and less expensive option for patients with early breast cancer for whom it is suitable 

Peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals that underpin the basis of TARGIT IORT

IORT PRESentations

Scientific basis, clinical trial results with IORT - cancer control, quality of life and survival

Detailed explanations about IORT for patients and for those looking after them

Newspaper and television coverage about IORT research results



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