The American Brachytherapy Society consensus statement on intraoperative radiation therapy

Martin C. Tom, Nikhil Joshi, Frank Vicini, Albert J. Chang, Theodore S. Hong, Timothy N. Showalter, Samuel T. Chao, Suzanne Wolden, Abraham J. Wu, Douglas Martin, Zain Husain, Shahed N. Badiyan, Matthew Kolar, Tracy Sherertz, Firas Mourtada, Gilad N. Cohen, Chirag Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Purpose: Although radiation therapy has traditionally been delivered with external beam or brachytherapy, intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) represents an alternative that may shorten the course of therapy, reduce toxicities, and improve patient satisfaction while potentially lowering the cost of care. At this time, there are limited evidence-based guidelines to assist clinicians with patient selection for IORT. As such, the American Brachytherapy Society presents a consensus statement on the use of IORT. Methods: Physicians and physicists with expertise in intraoperative radiation created a site-directed guideline for appropriate patient selection and utilization of IORT. Results: Several IORT techniques exist including radionuclide-based high-dose-rate, low-dose-rate, electron, and low-energy electronic. In breast cancer, IORT as monotherapy should only be used on prospective studies. IORT can be considered in the treatment of sarcomas with close/positive margins or recurrent sarcomas. IORT can be considered in conjunction with external beam radiotherapy for retroperitoneal sarcomas. IORT can be considered for colorectal malignancies with concern for positive margins and in the setting of recurrent gynecologic cancers. For thoracic, head and neck, and central nervous system malignancies, utilization of IORT should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Conclusions: The present guidelines provide clinicians with a summary of current data regarding IORT by treatment site and guidelines for the appropriate patient selection and safe utilization of the technique. High-dose-rate, low-dose-rate brachytherapy methods are appropriate when IORT is to be delivered as are electron and low-energy based on the clinical scenario.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-257
Number of pages16
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2019


  • Breast cancer
  • Colorectal
  • Gynecologic
  • Head and neck
  • IORT
  • Intraoperative radiation
  • Radiation therapy
  • Sarcoma


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