Skip to main content

Cancer Institute

JFK Comprehensive Cancer Institute

The JFK Medical Center Comprehensive Cancer Institute is one of the premier, hospital-based providers of cancer treatment in Palm Beach County.

Our trained and dedicated team is here to provide you with compassionate, comprehensive patient-centered care through a multi-disciplinary team approach.

We incorporate the latest breakthroughs in technology, research, psycho-social services and survivorship programs, to ensure the best clinical outcome and help to guide you through this challenging time in your life.

Our outstanding Oncology team works closely with each patient - from diagnosis through post-treatment to answer every question and ensure the best possible experience during what can be a very difficult time.

Once a patient is diagnosed with cancer, treatment options are thoroughly discussed and might include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, biological therapy or a combination. Decisions are discussed in a multidisciplinary fashion, so that patients may achieve the best results.

Download our brochure

Dear Community Partners,

At the beginning of 2015, the Cancer Committee set forth a full agenda of items that we wanted to achieve for the betterment of our program. As in previous year’s, the common thread interwoven throughout the conversation was that our actions should improve the experience of individuals dealing with a life-changing diagnosis.

Improving the patient experience and meeting the quality standards set forth by The American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC) remains the litmus test in our program evaluation. The CoC continually outlines quality standards that must be met by Comprehensive Community Cancer Programs in order to be recognized as an accredited organization. A number of new Quality of Care Measures were released by the CoC in 2015, two of which affect surgical resections performed at JFK Medical Center. The Cancer Committee in partnership with Surgical Services presented the new, evidence-based CoC guidelines regarding the surgical removal of lymph nodes for gastric, and lung surgical sites. I am pleased to share that our colleagues in Surgical Services have already exceeded the benchmarks defined by the CoC in several areas. We recognize there may be challenges in meeting all of the measures. However, working collaboratively with the surgical community, we expect to see continual progress across all surgical sites.

CoC accredited programs must also conduct a minimum of 2 quality studies each year in order to maintain accreditation. In 2015 we selected for evaluation: (1) analysis of re-excision rates for breast cancer; (2) breast oncology-related molecular marker concordance study. Both studies were selected because of the significant number of breast cancer patients diagnosed and/or treated at JFK Medical Center, and the importance of molecular testing in the determination of treatment.

Re-excision Rates 

The study looked at patients diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and initially treated with breast conservation surgery (lumpectomy/partial mastectomy). The analysis revealed that there has been a significant decrease in the rates of breast re-excision procedures down from approximately 21% in 2011 to 10% in 2014. While nationally there is no benchmark or compliance rate for this measure set by The American Society of Breast Surgeons, less than 30% is considered acceptable. Beginning in 2015, JFK Medical Center implemented the use of new equipment using Radiofrequency Spectroscopy for Margin Assessment to aid in further lowering the re-excision rates at this facility.

Molecular Marker Concordance Study 

The second quality study focused on hormone receptors ER,PR and HER-2 molecular testing performed on breast tissue at JFK Medical Center’s core laboratory Integrated Regional Laboratories (IRL) and specimens sent out for pathology consultations. Results were compared with Oncotype Dx testing performed on the same breast tissue for concordance. The study looked at cases from 2013 and 2014. The analysis revealed appropriate concordance of 83% and 87% respectively. The conclusions were that Tumors showing low level positivity (<10%) with low intensity (1+/2+); show as negative for Oncotype Dx. Tumors with borderline IHC Her2 (2+) staining, frequently result in Non-Amplified by FISH (IRL) and concordant negative results with Oncotype Dx.

Signs of the continuing evolution of our cancer program are evident with the addition of new team members. Dawn Paynter, Survivorship ARNP and Maria Nieto, Registered Dietician have allowed for an expanded scope of practice on-site at the JFK Comprehensive Cancer Institute to ensure patients receive support during treatment and beyond. Standard 3.3 Survivorship Care Plan is a phase in Standard for 2015. Dawn works collaboratively with the principal care providers to develop survivorship care plans that are reviewed with the patient and provided t o t hem at the completion of treatment. Having a dedicated Survivorship ARNP will enrich the patient experience and allow for effective monitoring of care across multiple modalities. Nutrition Services have also been elevated with the addition of Maria Nieto, RD. Maria maintains close relationships with the physicians and nursing staff to identify patients that are in need of nutritional consultation and resources to help them thrive while undergoing the arduous task of receiving treatment. Maria also educates and connects patients to the resources they need to understand and address their specific needs well beyond treatment.

As we rapidly approach the end of another busy and successful year for the JFK Comprehensive Cancer Program, I like to note that at the core of our success and continued growth is the dedication and efforts of the Cancer Committee, Administration, Medical Staff and Ancillary Personnel. The challenges we face in this ever-changing health care landscape will require time, vigilance and dedication to solve. All of us here at JFK realize we are on a journey together. I am inspired by the dedication of my colleagues and their commitment to realize a world-class environment for our most important partners – our patients. Assuring that our patients receive the highest quality care with compassion, empathy, honesty and respect continues to be our number one priority.

Sincerely,
Georges Hatoum, MD
Medical Director of Radiosurgery and Radiation Oncology

Georges F. Hatoum, M.D.

Dr. Georges F. Hatoum is the Medical Director of the JFK Comprehensive Cancer Institute. He obtained his medical degree with honors from the Lebanese University, Faculty of Medical Sciences. His residency was completed at the Syracuse Upstate Medical University with rotations at the University of Miami and Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He was then appointed as the Chief of Radiation Oncology at the Stratton VA Medical Center, Albany, NY where he carried an appointment as Assistant Professor of Medicine. Read more about Dr. Hatoum.

Beth-Ann Lesnikoski, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Dr. Lesnikoski is Medical Director of the Breast Institute and Cancer Liaison Physician at JFK Medical Center, in Atlantis Florida. She was an Attending Breast Surgeon at such prestigious Harvard affiliated hospitals as Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Faulkner Hospital & Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston for over 15 years. She was also the founding Medical Director of the South Shore Hospital Breast Care Center prior to her move to Florida in 2009. Read more about Dr. Lesnikoski.

Xiaodong Wu, Ph.D., Chief Physicist

Xiaodong Wu, Ph.D., received his B.S. fron Xiamen University. He has an M.S. in radiological sciences and a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of Miami. He joined the University of Miami-School of Medicine as a medical physicist in 1989, and was named chief of the Division of Medical Physics in 1997.

Dr. Wu has established credentials as a medical physicist, educator and academician. In 1999, he established the first program in South Florida for Intensity Modified Radiation Therapy.

Publications

CYBERKNIFE® TREATMENT OF METASTATIC MALIGNANT MELANOMA AS PART OF A MULTIMODALITY THERAPY: A CASE REPORT
A case of metastatic melanoma treated with combined modalities including image-guided robotic radiosurgery with CyberKnife® (Accuray Incorporated, Sunnyvale, CA, USA), and has an overall survival of14 years is presented.

Authors: William T Brown, F Fayed, Xiaodong Wu, James M Hevezi, Irene Monterroso, James G Schwade
Published: May 25, 2011

LATTICE Radiotherapy with RapidArc for Treatment of Gynecological Tumors:Dosimetric and Early Clinical Evaluations
LATTICE Radiotherapy (LRT) using Rapid Arc appears to be a safe and effective approach for the treatment of bulky gynecological tumors.

Authors: Beatriz E Amendola, Naipy Perez, Marco Amendola, Xiaodong Wu, Mansoor M. Ahmed, Alejandro J Iglesias, Richard Estape, Nicholas Lambrou, Pietro Bortoletto
Published: September 27, 2010

A Universal, Notched, Episcleral Plaque Set for Brachytherapy of Intraocular Tumors Adjacent to the Optic Nerve
This article describes a universal notched episcleral plaque set consisting of a 20 mm base notched plaque, a set of open gold rings, and conventional silicon seed carriers ranging in size from 10 mm to 20 mm.

Authors: Xiaodong Wu, Timothy G Murray, Peter Kaiser, J. Randall Hughes, Elizabeth Bossert, Arnold M. Markoe
Published: June 26, 2010

A Novel Applicator for Intracavitary Low-Dose-Rate Brachytherapy (LDR) for Carcinoma of the Uterine Cervix: Results of a Single Institutional Trial
We report results of a study assessing the use of a novel applicator to deliver low-dose-rate brachytherapy (LDR) to carcinoma of the uterine cervix. An unexpectedly high rate of RV fistulae was demonstrated.

Authors: Nagy Elsayyad, Cristiane Takita, Gail Walker, Aaron Wolfson, Xiaodong Wu, Arnold M. Markoe

ON MODERN TECHNICAL APPROACHES OF THREE-DIMENSIONAL HIGH-DOSE LATTICE RADIOTHERAPY (LRT)
We present a new technical concept using modern radiation therapy instrumentation to advance traditional GRID treatment to modern three-dimensional (3D) high-dose LATTICE radiotherapy (LRT). We found superior dosimetry compared to the 2D GRID technique.

Authors: Xiaodong Wu, Mansoor M. Ahmed, Jean Wright, Seema Gupta, Alan Pollack
Published: March 05, 2010


Charles Y. Shang, M.Sc., B.Med, DABR

Research Affiliate Associate Professor, Florida Atlantic University
Director of Medical Physics at Lynn Cancer Institute of Boca Raton Regional Hospital, Boca Raton, Florida

After graduating medical school and residency at a prestigious university and hospital in China, Dr. Shang furthered his education in USA. He then obtained a MS in medical physics from University of Pittsburgh, and a postdoctoral diploma from UHS/Chicago Medical School. He holds certifications from the American Board of Radiology in all three physics fields - Therapeutic Radiological Physics, Diagnostic Radiological Physics, and Physics of Nuclear Medicine. In 2001, as a solo physicist, he was instrumental in pioneering the modern prostate radioactive seed implants at Connecticut in 1992, IMRT with new CMS computing system as the first Florida and US clinic in 2001, and other cutting edge technologies including Protura 6D robotics in 2009. He has published more than 50 academic abstracts and articles, and is a frequent academic speaker for domestic and international academic conferences. He has been an active member of ASTRO, AAPM and ACMP. This year he was elected as President Elect of Florida chapter of America Association of Physicists in Medicine.

Selected Publications and Presentations

Shang C, Kasper M, Williams T, Benda R, Shope J, Kathriarachchi V, Schramm A, Cole J: A New Reliable SUV Index For Evaluating Local Control Using F-18 FDG PET Following Lung SBRT, 54nd ASTRO Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, IJROBP (2012)

Shang C, Kathriarachchi V, Williams T, Cole J, Kasper M, Shope J, Benda R: A Novel Method to Evaluate Local Control and Recurrence Using 18FFDG PET After Lung SBRT, Med. Phys. 39, 3698 (2012)

Vergara1 D, Shang C, et al: A Characterization of the LAP Aquarius Phantom for External LAP Laser Alignment and MR Geometric Distortion Verification for the Use of SRS Patient Simulation, Med. Phys. 39, 3694 (2012)

Kathriarachchi V, Shang C, Schramm A, Kasper M: Evaluating Local Control of Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) for Lung Cancer Treatments Using 18F-FDG Positron Emission Tomography (PET), Young Investigator Presentation, AAPM Spring Clinical Meeting, Texas, March 2012

Shang C, Williams T, Kasper M: Clinical Efficacy of Using KV-CBCT Imaging Guided 6D Robotic Couch in Lung SBRT, Med. Phys. 38, 3473 (2011)

Shang C, Vargas C: Structure Density Variations Between Free Breathing CT and Respiration-Gated 4D CT for Lung SBRT, Med. Phys. 38, 3467-3468 (2011)


Jeremy F. Cole, M.S., DABR

Jeremy Cole earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Physics from the University of Louisville (KY) in 1998 and 2000 respectively. He then attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI), where he received his Master of Science degree in Medical Physics in 2002. That same year he moved to South Florida and since then has held positions at Bethesda Memorial Hospital, Martin Memorial Hospital, Palm Beach Cancer Institute and Boca Raton Regional Hospital, during which time he contributed his expertise to the Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS), Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT), Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) and High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy programs. He is an active member of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) and the American Brachytherapy Society (ABS) and is certified by the American Board of Radiology (ABR) in Therapeutic Medical Physics and licensed by the State of Florida to practice Therapeutic Radiological Physics.

Publications

Shang C, Kasper M, Williams T, Benda R, Shope J, Kathriarachchi V, Schramm A, Cole J: A New Reliable SUV Index For Evaluating Local Control Using F-18 FDG PET Following Lung SBRT, 54nd ASTRO Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, IJROBP (2012)

Shang C, Kathriarachchi V, Williams T, Cole J, Kasper M, Shope J, Benda R: A Novel Method to Evaluate Local Control and Recurrence Using 18FFDG PET After Lung SBRT, Med. Phys. 39, 3698 (2012)


The Cancer Care Team

Therapy Team

Our Team of Board Certified Therapists shares a passion and commitment to care for the needs of our cancer patients, and to provide them with the best treatment technology has to offer while at the same time, providing the compassion and care our patients need and deserve.

Physics and Dosimetry Team

Our Physicists and Dosimetrist are Board Certified, and highly skilled in planning the radiation treatment for our cancer patients, in collaboration with our Radiation Oncology physicians.

Nursing

Our Registered Nurse works closely with both the patient and the entire oncology team to ensure that the experience and care of our patients at the Cancer Institute is very positive and fulfilling.

Nurse Navigators

Our Nurse Navigators work closely with patients to ensure their tests and consultations are performed promptly. They work closely with physicians and tumor registry to insure appropriate care.

Dietitian/Nutritionist

Our Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist works with our patients and physicians to help meet the very specific dietary and nutritional needs of a cancer patient to ensure the best quality of life is achieved while undergoing treatment and survival.

Physical Therapy

Our Registered Physical Therapist works with our patients and physicians to help meet the physical impacts of cancer to ensure the best quality of life is achieved while undergoing treatment and recovery.

Psycho-Social Team

Our Psycho-Social Team is here to work with our patients and physicians to help with the psychological effects of cancer, and is also available to assist with other needs such as impact to family and finances. They also seek to create healing while restoring a psychological balance.

Tumor Registry

Our Certified Tumor Registrars play a very important role in maintaining our accreditation with the American College of Surgery Commission on Cancer; NAPBC: NQMBC. This work is essential in tracking and trending treatments and outcomes to help us continuously improve the quality of care we provide and ensure we remain current with the most advanced techniques and industry changes.

A State-of-The-Art Radiation Oncology Department at The JFK Comprehensive Cancer Institute

Radiation therapy has always been an important component in the integral management of cancer care. Modern technical advancement in instrumentation and cancer biology has made radiation therapy more effective than before for many types of cancers.

The JFK Comprehensive Cancer Institute has the most advanced modern radiation therapy equipment. Structured with the national standard of practice, it offers three major radiation treatment modalities to our patients:

  1. External beam radiation therapy
  2. Brachytherapy
  3. Stereotactic Radiosurgery

External Beam Radiation Therapy Program

External beam radiation therapy treats the largest percentage of cancer patients. It is most commonly done using high energy x-rays and electron beams produced by linear accelerator (Linac). The most advanced forms of external beam radiation therapy include intensity-modulated techniques that are delivered either statically (IMRT) or dynamically (VMAT/RapidArc). In addition, a series of high precision technologies such as image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) system and respiratory motion management are incorporated to assure accurate treatment delivery. The newly installed TrueBeam system by Varian Medical Corp. at the JFK Cancer Center is the most advanced digital linac that is integrated with the most comprehensive high tech components including RapidArc, OBI (On-board Imager) for IGRT, RPM (Real-time Position Management) for patient motion control and High-intensity mode for Radiosurgery, allowing our radiation oncologists to provide our patients with the latest external beam radiation therapy options with the highest precision and the least side-effects. The TrueBeam is also known for its highest radiation output rate in the industry, resulting in the shortest treatment time.

Brachytherapy Program

Brachytherapy is one of the highly effective radiation therapy modalities. It uses radioactive isotopes to deliver radiation dose to tumors directly, with minimal radiation damage to the surrounding normal tissues. Brachytherapy is suitable for many tumors, including breast, GYN, lung, esophagus, prostate, etc. The brachytherapy procedures at JFK are performed in a dedicated suite using a latest model of high-dose-rate (HDR) remote after-loader by Nucletron Corp.

Depending on the site being treated, this technique involves temporary placement of catheters (MAMMOSITE, SAVI) for breast cancer or tandem and ovoids for vaginal endometrial and cervical cancers.

Radiosurgery Program

For relatively small tumors and some benign conditions such as AVM, trigeminal neuralgia, meningioma, pituitary adenoma, and acoustic neuroma Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) or stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy (SBRT) is often the most optimal choice of treatment. SRS or SBRT uses highly focused radiation beams to deliver markedly higher radiation dose to ablate tumors without damaging surrounding normal tissues. It can achieve comparable results to surgery without physical invasion. Such treatment requires extremely high precision and performance skills. Depending on each patient’s condition, SRS/SBRT at JFK can be delivered by two most advanced SRS/SBRT systems, the TrueBeam and the Cyberknife. The Cyberknife, manufactured by Accuray, Inc. is recognized as one of the most advanced instrumentation for Radiosurgery. It combines highly sophisticated image guiding technologies and robotic technologies to deliver Radiosurgery with un-paralleled precision. It was the first and remains the only system, capable of tracking and compensating for tumor motion in real-time while delivering radiation to eradicate tumors. The Cyberknife Center at JFK, with a team of internationally renowned experts, offers our patients this state of the art technology with supreme quality.

CyberKnife® System

The CyberKnife® System is a viable, non-invasive alternative to surgery and is capable of treating tumors anywhere in the body. The treatment – which delivers high doses of radiation to tumors with extreme accuracy – offers new hope to patients who have inoperable or surgically complex tumors, or who may be looking for an alternative to surgery.

The CyberKnife® System uses image-guidance and computer controlled robotics to deliver multiple beams of high-energy radiation to the tumor from virtually any direction. Designed to treat tumors anywhere in the body with sub-millimeter accuracy, the CyberKnife System tracks the tumor’s position, detects any tumor or patient movement and automatically corrects the treatment delivery. This outpatient procedure does not require anesthesia or invasive stabilizing frames. Most patients experience minimal recovery time and can return to normal activities almost immediately.

Read more about the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System.

Medical Imaging and Treatment Planning

Medical imaging technology plays crucial role in modern medicine. The level of treatment efficacy relies on the accurate determination of tumor or diseased regions as well as critical organs. In addition to a dedicated 16-slice large-bore CT scanner/simulator, capable of obtaining 4D images, multiple medical imaging modalities including MRI and PET-CT, are routinely used through deformable fusion to delineate tumor regions for treatment and critical organs that need protection. High-performance computers with highly sophisticated computation software are used to design and optimize treatment plans to assure highest rate of tumor control and minimal radiation damage to normal tissues.

Medical Informatics

When complicated advanced technologies are integrated for cancer treatments, they pose unprecedented high demand on accuracy and efficiency of information management. This is especially true in modern radiation therapy. The operation at the JFK radiation therapy department is configured on an integrated network platform, called “Inspiration”, developed by Varian Medical Corp. With this platform, all data associated with patient treatment from all equipments and hospital service departments are centrally controlled and flow seamlessly. Efficiency is maximized and errors are minimized.

In radiation therapy, beams of energy or radioactive particles are aimed directly at a tumor or place in the body that has been invaded by cancer. The technique is so effective in treating some types of cancer that more than half of all patients with cancer receive radiation treatments.

Radiation therapy kills cancer cells or keeps them from growing and spreading. Radiation therapists shield normal tissue from the radiation, and radiation oncologists select treatment schedules that spread radiation treatments over time to minimize damage to normal cells. Some normal cells may be damaged by the radiation, but unlike cancer cells, most normal cells recover.


The Cyberknife® Radiosurgery System at JFK Medical Center

When Radiation is Used

More than half of all people with cancer are treated with some form of radiation therapy. Thousands of these people, whether they received radiation alone or in conjunction with other cancer therapies, are now living cancer free.

Radiation is often combined with chemotherapy, a systemic treatment that reaches all parts of the body through the bloodstream. Radiation can improve the outcomes of chemotherapy by providing another method of reducing tumor size. Chemotherapy can improve the outcome of radiation by sensitizing cancer cells to radiation effects.

When used before surgery, radiation can shrink a tumor and make it easier for the surgeon to remove.

Radiation can be used after surgery to stop any remaining cancer cells from growing, preventing the cancer from returning, or spreading to other parts of the body.

Unfortunately, cancer cannot always be stopped completely. For terminally ill patients, radiation therapy can improve quality of life by reducing tumor size, thereby reducing pain, pressure, and other cancer symptoms.

Types of Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is essentially given in two ways: externally through a linear accelerator (external beam radiation), or internally by the implantation of radioactive sources (brachytherapy). The method your radiation oncologist chooses will depend on the type of cancer you have and the location of your tumor.

External Beam Radiation

  • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
    Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is high-precision radiotherapy that uses computer-controlled linear accelerators to provide specific radiation doses to a malignant tumor or areas within the tumor.
  • 3-D conformal radiation therapy
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) with Cyberknife
  • Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) with Cyberknife or True Beam
  • 3-D Virtual simulation with multi-modality Image registration including 4D CT, PET
  • Image Guided target localization including ultra sound based, KV, X-ray based, CBCT-based
  • Respiratory gated radiation therapy

Brachytherapy

Brachytherapy is a form of radiation therapy that implants tiny radioactive seeds directly into the tumor to kill cancer cells. The radiation dose is calculated to match exactly the size and shape of the patient's tumor or cavity, ensuring that the area receives the correct radiation dose while preventing unnecessary radiation to surrounding tissues.

Our brachytherapy program covers:

  • Interstitial and intracavitary implants using Ir-192 radioactive seeds
  • Mammosite or SAVI HDR brachytherapy for early stage breast cancer
  • State-of-the-art HDR brachytherapy treatments for primary gynecological malignancies such as cervical, endometrial and vaginal cancers using CT and MRI compatible vaginal cylinder, tandem and ovoids, or Syed implant.

The future of Breast Cancer Treatment is here Today with Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT)

Advances in surgery and radiation therapy make breast cancer treatments safer and more convenient than ever before. Standard radiation therapy usually involves as many as 33 treatments given five days per week. With IORT JFK’s radiation oncologists can deliver an equivalent dose of radiation in a “single fraction” or treatment session lasting just a few minutes, while also preserving more healthy tissue. This treatment reduces radiation exposure and its side effects, as well as the time spent going back and forth to the hospital.

IORT is a practical and safe alternative to standard whole breast radiation therapy for many patients. It is administered to the inside of the breast during surgery, immediately after removal of the cancer. For many patients, after awakening from anesthesia, both the breast surgery and radiation therapy are completely done. Most eligible patients won’t need to undergo any additional radiation therapy. The remaining patients still benefit from IORT as a “boost” during surgery followed by 3 to 5 weeks of external beam radiation therapy.

How does Intraoperative Radiation Therapy work?

IORT is a practical and safe technique that is done while you’re still in surgery. The radiation dose you need is aimed directly at your exposed tumor area, while surrounding healthy tissue is moved aside and protected. Reducing the amount of tissue that is radiated reduces both early and late side effects. The entire dose of radiation is delivered at one time, with no further need for radiotherapy treatments after surgery. IORT offers some of the following advantages:

Maximum effect. IORT delivers a concentrated dose of radiation to a tumor site immediately after a tumor is removed, helping to destroy the microscopic tumor cells that may be left behind. The tumor site is typically at highest risk for local recurrence. Traditional radiation therapy requires a recovery period after surgery, which leaves microscopic disease in the body for longer. This delay may also make the tissue more resistant to the effects of radiation.

Spares healthy tissues and organs. During IORT, a precise radiation dose is applied while shielding healthy tissues or structures, such as the skin, the heart, and the lungs, that could be damaged using other techniques. This allows a higher radiation dose to be delivered to the tumor bed, while sparing normal surrounding tissues.

Shortened treatment times. IORT helps some patients finish treatment and get back to their lives more quickly by reducing the need for additional radiation therapy. Standard treatment lasts typically five to six weeks.

Benefits of IORT

Saves time: For patients who are eligible for single dose treatment the entire therapeutic dose of breast radiation is given immediately at the time of lumpectomy (removal of the tumor) while the patient is still under anesthesia. This allows the patient to return to normal life more quickly.

Convenience for patients: Traditionally, breast cancer patients would need to come back to undergo radiation therapy for five days a week for up to three to six weeks after they heal from surgery. For some patients who undergo IORT, there are typically no return trips for radiation.

Targeted radiation therapy: Radiation is given directly and internally to the sections of the breast with the biggest risk of cancer recurrence.

Team approach: The Radiation Oncologist is in the operating room with the surgeon.

Decreased side effects: Because the skin is protected during IORT, it has been found to decrease side effects such as red rashes and skin irritations that occur during traditional radiation therapy.

Who is a candidate for IORT?

A patient must be a surgical candidate in order to be eligible for IORT. This treatment is generally reserved for individuals with early-stage disease. Your doctor will discuss whether IORT is an appropriate treatment option for you, based on your individual diagnosis, tumor characteristics, and personal preference.

For more information or to schedule an appointment to see if you are a candidate for this procedure call (561) 548-4JFK (4535).

The JFK Comprehensive Cancer Institute has become an Affiliate Member of Cleveland Clinic Foundation for the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG). Being a participating member of the RTOG is both a great honor and responsibility. This membership will provide our patients access to national clinical trials not available via any other source, and it is hoped this will enhance the opportunity for our Cancer Institute to provide our patients the very best in clinical research opportunities.

Current open RTOG trials:

Clinical trials (or studies) involve human volunteers to help conduct research to answer specific health questions. All trials are carefully conducted, and are the fastest and safest way to find treatments and new ways to improve health.

Clinical trials are conducted according to a plan called a protocol. A protocol describes what types of patients may enter the study; schedules of tests and procedures, drugs/devices, dosages, and length of study, as well as outcomes to be measured. Each person participating in the study must agree to follow the protocol.

It is always your choice to participate in clinical trials, without affecting your standard care. You are also allowed to change your mind at any time, once you are involved a study. The trials that we participate in predominantly require a hospitalization for the disease being studied; during your hospital stay, your physician determines if there is a study that would enhance your care.

The Breast Institute at JFK Medical Center has earned a reputation for its dedication to helping patients fight and beat breast cancer on all fronts. Using the latest diagnostics and most advanced technologies & treatments available, our board-certified physicians are known for their experience and expertise in breast cancer care. We have created an integrated network of imaging centers and our hospital to create world class breast care in a convenient setting for our patients.

Breast Interdisciplinary Cancer Program

Due to the complex nature of breast cancer and its treatment, JFK Medical Center seeks to create a patient-centered program for women and their families going through breast cancer. Because 1% of all breast cancer is diagnosed in men, we will also have a specially designed approach to male breast cancer. Patients will have access to innovative treatments, clinical trials, and other supportive services. Our mission is to care for the whole patient, not just the disease.

The focus of our care is patients with active breast problems, elevated risk of developing breast cancer, a new or past diagnosis of breast cancer. Patients will require a referral from their OB-Gyn or primary caregiver. Physicians or nurse practitioners may make referrals. We will assist Breast Institute patients, as well as patients with non-surgical breast problems, in the coordination of their care with other caregivers.

Read more about the services at the Breast Institute.

Schedule an Appointment

To schedule an appointment, please call (561) 548-2662 and select option 3.

Office hours are Mon – Fri: 8:00am – 4:00pm.

Location


View Larger Map

COC Accredited Program

Our Cancer Program is accredited by the Commission on Cancer. As a CoC-accredited cancer program, we demonstrate an important commitment to providing all patients with access to services they need from diagnosis through treatment, rehabilitation, and survivorship care.

Commission on Cancer Badge