Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT)
Radiation therapy given during surgery is called intraoperative radiation therapy, which can be helpful when vital normal organs are too close to the tumor. During an operation, a surgeon temporarily moves the normal organs out of the way so radiation can be applied directly to the tumor. This allows your radiation oncologist to avoid exposing those organs to radiation. Intraoperative radiation can be given as external beam therapy or as brachytherapy.
UW Medicine surgeons and radiation oncologists have years of experience with IORT. UW Medical Center is the only hospital in the Pacific Northwest to offer this treatment. A fast and effective form of radiation therapy, IORT is part of the advanced arsenal of treatments available to our patients
When tumors cannot be completely removed from the pelvic or abdominal regions because they are attached to important organs or nerves, or if cancer cells might have been left behind when a tumor was resected, surgeons can move normal structures out of the way during surgery to expose the area to high-dose electron-beam radiation.