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More Women Now Eligible for New Five-Day Breast Cancer Therapy Provided by El Camino Hospital

Mountain View, CA - February 9, 2009 - El Camino Hospital is the first facility in Northern California to offer a more targeted five-day course of radiation treatment for early-stage breast cancer.

This innovative new radiation treatment with the SAVI applicator expands treatment options for most women with early-stage breast cancer. The majority of women who are candidates for partial breast radiation are candidates for SAVI.

Partial breast radiation is a short, five-day course of radiation therapy given after a lumpectomy. SAVI delivers a form of partial breast radiation known as breast brachytherapy, which targets the tumor site from inside the breast.

The SAVI applicator contours the radiation dose specifically to the patient's anatomy, thereby minimizing the dose to healthy adjacent body structures, such as the heart, lungs, ribs and skin.

"SAVI increases the number of patients who can be treated with breast brachytherapy," said Rakesh Patel, M.D., a radiation oncologist with Western Radiation Oncology (WRO) at El Camino Hospital and nationally recognized breast brachytherapy expert. "This innovative device has multiple catheters which allow us to shape the radiation dose much more carefully and limit exposure to healthy tissue. It therefore enables us to treat patients who may otherwise be contraindicated for partial breast radiation."

Breast brachytherapy typically involves two treatments per day for only five days. This advanced approach is a convenient alternative to traditional external-beam radiation, which lasts six to seven weeks, five times a week.

"The advantage of SAVI is that it allows us to provide safer treatment with potentially fewer side effects," said breast surgeon Peter Naruns, M.D., FACS, of Midpeninsula Surgical Associates who has partnered with Dr. Patel to develop a state-of-the-art targeted breast radiation program at El Camino Hospital. "And, it will broaden the number of patients eligible for breast brachytherapy."

Breast brachytherapy is used as part of breast-conservation therapy, which includes lumpectomy--the surgical removal of the cancerous tissue within the breast plus tissue immediately around the tumor--followed by radiation. This approach is an alternative to mastectomy, which removes the breast and is often followed by breast reconstruction.

The SAVI procedure now offered by El Camino Hospital is designed to make the benefits of breast-conservation therapy and brachytherapy available to more women. It was developed by Cianna Medical, Inc., a women's health company dedicated to the early treatment of breast cancer.

For more information contact:

Liz Dowling, Dowling and Dennis Public Relations 760-942-2544


Judy Twitchell Communications Manager, El Camino Hospital 650-988-7767