Director: Meena S. Moran, MD
The department of therapeutic radiology’s program in breast cancer is one of the most widely recognized in the world. We were one of the first facilities in the country to offer breast conserving surgery followed by radiation therapy to the intact breast. Our data base of conservatively managed breast cancer patients, which contains clinical data on over 2000 patients, complemented by detailed pathologic and molecular information, is one of the largest and most mature experiences in the world, and has been the foundation of over 100 articles in the medical literature.
Patients seen in radiation oncology are generally presented at a multi-disciplinary tumor conference, where the management of their case is discussed not only by radiation oncologists, but by surgeons, medical oncologists, pathologists, diagnostic radiologists, genetic counselors and social workers.
The department offers the complete spectrum of services in radiation oncology as it relates to treatment of breast cancer, including breast conserving surgery followed by radiation, radiation following mastectomy, and radiation for treatment of metastasis. Our team of physicians, physicists, dosimetrists and radiation therapists offer the latest technologies in the delivery of radiation for breast cancer, including conventional external beam radiation, IMRT, deep inspiration breath hold (DIBH) and partial breast irradiation.
Since prior to 2011, Yale has been offering a new way treating breast cancer to its patients: hypofractionated breast radiation. This treatment involves 3-4 weeks of radiation rather than the traditional 5-6 weeks of radiation. This treatment has been proven to be just as effective-with less side effects-than the standard six weeks of radiation. Yale's prone breast board program also allows delivery of hypofractionated treatment for those women who may derive additional benefit from its use. Hypofractionated breast radiation has been identified by the American Society for Radiation Oncology's (ASTRO) Choosing Wisely Campaign as an intervention that all physicians should consider strongly for the breast cancer patients. This treatment has been proven to be highly effective for women after lumpectomy, when lymph nodes areas do not need to be targeted. At Yale, we can offer this treatment to women who have undergone chemotherapy, as well. Our team is trained in all three methods of partial breast irradiation including external beam conformal therapy, interstitial brachytherapy and Mammosite. The department actively participates in a number of national trials in the management of breast cancer through the RTOG, ACOSOG, ECOG.