From the Director’s Desk

Paul Okunieff, M.D.

In November, the UF Shands Cancer Center became one of fewer than 20 centers across the country and the first in Florida to debut a promising type of radiation that could greatly transform the way breast cancer is treated.

This technology is called the Intrabeam system. Intrabeam allows us to deliver a precise dose of radiation during surgery directly to the tumor bed after the tumor’s removal.

As you can imagine, the ability to immediately deliver radiation to tissues that may have residual tumor cells offers advantages compared to traditional delayed radiation therapy. For patients, this technique can spare them from enduring weeks of radiation therapy after their surgery. It also is extremely convenient, an important consideration for patients who lack transportation or live some distance from a treatment center. And most importantly, it also allows us to more accurately target and destroy the cancer cells that remain in the body after a tumor is removed. (For more on the Intrabeam system, read “Just what the patient ordered.”) [NOTE: Link title to story]

Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a breast cancer survivor herself and a tireless advocate for women with breast cancer, helped us unveil the Intrabeam system, cutting the orange, blue and pink ribbon during a ceremony held Nov. 12 in the Cancer & Genetics Research Complex.

It was a banner moment. Every discovery we make in our labs and every innovation like this that we add to our clinical enterprise pushes us one step forward.

Inch by inch, we are improving the treatment of cancer, both for our patients now and for those whose diagnosis is yet to come.

Inch by inch, we move closer to a cure.

Paul Okunieff, M.D.

Director, UF Shands Cancer Center

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Spring 2011

From the Director’s Desk

The UF Shands Cancer Center is one of fewer than 20 centers across the country and the first in Florida to debut Intrabeam, a promising type of radiation that could transform the way breast cancer is treated.

Just What the Patient Ordered

Her husband placed the newspaper by her chair, carefully positioned so the article would be the first thing she saw. When Janice Northrup glanced at it, she discovered the answer she’d been praying to find.

Too Many Surgical Breast Biopsies?

Thousands of women receive unnecessary surgical breast biopsies in Florida each year, University of Florida researchers state in an article recently published online by the American Journal of Surgery.

A Place for Patients

Yoga classes at the Criser Cancer Resource Center are one of many ways the center helps patients and their families deal with the challenges presented by a cancer diagnosis or long hospital stay.

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