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TARGIT-IORT for breast cancer at UCLH cancer conference 25 May 2022 final smaller file.jpg

TARGIT IORT is 'one-shot' radiation given during surgery done to remove breast cancer.

It stands for 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.

Global adoption of single-dose intraoperative radiotherapy (TARGIT-IORT) for breast cancer


“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

"..As effective in treating breast cancer as the long course of whole breast radiotherapy, single-dose TARGIT-IORT substantially reduces deaths from other causes.

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.pdf

"TARGIT-IORT is as effective as EBRT in all subgroups. Local recurrence after TARGIT-IORT, unlike after EBRT, has a good prognosis. TARGIT-IORT might have a beneficial abscopal effect. 


TARGIT-IORT improved the overall survival by 4.4% (89.3 vs. 84.9%) at 12 years, in those with grade 1 or 2 cancers (n=1797)."


"Five amazing health research breakthroughs in the last 12 months"

The TARGIT research featured in the same list as the COVID-19 vaccine and two COVID-19 treatments by National Institutes of Health Research, NIHR, UK


By early 2020, 260 centres in 35 countries have treated at least 44,752 women with breast cancer with TARGIT-IORT. This means that >20 million miles of travel (15 million Kg of CO2 emissions)  have been saved and about 2,000 deaths prevented.

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

Large posters giving the main results: 
NCRI meeting 2021, UCLH cancer conference 2022

TARGIT-IORT for breast cancer: the latest clinical trial results
in 5 minutes 

A short video about TARGIT-IORT for breast cancer
Further analysis of the TARGIT-A trial
TARGIT-IORT for breast cancer: from an idea to worldwide adoption - a public lecture hosted by UCL Faculty of Medical Sciences
30 min talk + 26 min Q&A session

A Patient's view about IORT

National TV: NICE Recommends Intrabeam IORT for breast cancer

Reduced Mortality with targeted irradiation

Environmental and Social Benefits of IORT during lumpectomy

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. 

TARGIT-A trial had a moderate risk population representative of a typical breast clinic - 20% of patients had grade 3 cancer and 22% had involved nodes. 64% of the population was 65 years or younger. 


As per the latest results, TARGIT-IORT during lumpectomy is as effective as EBRT in controlling breast cancer. In addition, TARGIT-IORT had fewer side effects and fewer deaths from heart attacks, lung problems, or other cancers. TARGIT IORT is less expensive than EBRT, potentially saving the NHS up to £9.1 million a year, without considering the cost savings to patients.

As a result of this research, over 260 centres in 38 countries have been offering TARGIT-IORT to their patients and as of 2020, over 45,000 patients have been treated.


Patients from USA can find US-specific information at

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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