Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 124, Issue 1, pp 141–151 | Cite as

Intraoperative radiotherapy during breast conserving surgery: a study on 1,822 cases treated with electrons

  • Umberto Veronesi
  • Roberto Orecchia
  • Alberto Luini
  • Viviana Galimberti
  • Stefano Zurrida
  • Mattia Intra
  • Paolo Veronesi
  • Paolo Arnone
  • Maria Cristina Leonardi
  • Mario Ciocca
  • Roberta Lazzari
  • Pietro Caldarella
  • Nicole Rotmensz
  • Claudia Sangalli
  • Daniele Sances
  • Patrick Maisonneuve
Clinical trial


Intraoperative radiotherapy with electrons (ELIOT) after conservative surgery for breast carcinoma was introduced at the IEO in 1999 as a research programme. The results on 1,822 patients treated from January 2000 to December 2008 are reported. Women with unicentric primary breast carcinoma of less than 2.5 cm in the largest diameter were assessed by imaging. All patients were treated with breast-conserving surgery (quadrantectomy). ELIOT was delivered by two mobile linear accelerators immediately after breast resection with a single dose of 21 Gy. Local side effects of ELIOT were mainly liponecrosis (4.2%) and fibrosis (1.8%). After a mean follow-up of 36.1 months, 42 women (2.3%) developed a local recurrence, 24 (1.3%) a new primary ipsilateral carcinomas and 26 (1.4%) distant metastases as first event. Forty-six women died (2.5%), 28 for breast carcinoma and 18 for other causes. Five- and ten-year survivals were, respectively, 97.4 and 89.7%. ELIOT appears a promising feature in early breast cancer treated with breast conserving surgery, reducing the exposure of normal tissues to radiations and shortening the radiation course from 6 weeks to one single session.


Breast cancer Intraoperative radiotherapy Conserving surgery 



We thank the American-Italian Cancer Foundation, New York, Jacqueline Seroussi Foundation, Tel Aviv for financial support, William Russell-Edu for help with the English revision, and Maria Grazia Villardita for her constant help in the preparation of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Umberto Veronesi
    • 1
  • Roberto Orecchia
    • 2
    • 3
  • Alberto Luini
    • 4
    • 3
  • Viviana Galimberti
    • 4
  • Stefano Zurrida
    • 4
    • 3
  • Mattia Intra
    • 4
  • Paolo Veronesi
    • 4
    • 3
  • Paolo Arnone
    • 4
  • Maria Cristina Leonardi
    • 2
  • Mario Ciocca
    • 5
  • Roberta Lazzari
    • 2
  • Pietro Caldarella
    • 4
  • Nicole Rotmensz
    • 6
  • Claudia Sangalli
    • 3
  • Daniele Sances
    • 7
  • Patrick Maisonneuve
    • 6
  1. 1.European Institute of OncologyMilanItaly
  2. 2.Division of RadiotherapyEuropean Institute of OncologyMilanItaly
  3. 3.University of Milan School of MedicineMilanItaly
  4. 4.Division of SenologyEuropean Institute of OncologyMilanItaly
  5. 5.Division of Nuclear MedicineEuropean Institute of OncologyMilanItaly
  6. 6.Division of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsEuropean Institute of OncologyMilanItaly
  7. 7.Division of AnaesthesiologyEuropean Institute of OncologyMilanItaly

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