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News Room: Press Releases

Virtua Memorial named 'Center of Excellence' for advanced breast cancer treatment

Virtua Memorial was named among 19 facilities in the Mid-Atlantic region that have been named Centers of Excellence in accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) for their use of the SAVI® applicator, an advanced therapy for breast cancer as part of breast conservation therapy. The SAVI applicator can provide important advantages for women with early-stage breast cancer.

The Center of Excellence designation recognizes Virtua Memorial's dedication to education, training and experience in APBI. To qualify, physicians, medical physicists and clinical staff were required to complete a comprehensive training and education program to demonstrate proficiency in delivering radiation therapy with SAVI. The facilities have also expressed a commitment to patient education, advocacy and awareness of advanced breast cancer treatments.

"Cianna Medical is proud to acknowledge the contributions these surgeons and radiation oncologists are making to the APBI field," said Jill Anderson, President and CEO of Cianna Medical. "They are changing how we care for women with early-stage breast cancer by recognizing the clinical benefits of more targeted radiation therapy and choosing to make it available to their patients."

In addition, Cianna Medical recognized Michele Fantazzio, MD, and Diane Gillum, MD, of Breast Specialty Care in Voorhees, NJ, with Distinguished Achievement Awards.

The commitment of these centers and physicians to offer the SAVI applicator extends the benefits of breast conservation therapy to a larger group of women and results in improved clinical outcomes.

Breast conservation therapy includes lumpectomy - the surgical removal of the cancerous tissue within the breast plus tissue immediately around the tumor - followed by radiation. This approach is an alternative to mastectomy, which removes the entire breast and is often followed by breast reconstruction.

The SAVI applicator delivers a form of radiation therapy known as breast brachytherapy. This approach, which targets the tumor site from inside the breast, is becoming a more widely used alternative to traditional radiation.

Breast brachytherapy typically involves two treatments per day for only five days. This shorter timeframe makes brachytherapy far more convenient than traditional, external-beam radiation. The latter is delivered five times a week and takes six or seven weeks.

Radiation treatment after a lumpectomy has traditionally involved irradiation of the entire breast with an external beam. Besides the inconvenience of the six-week-long regimen, many women must travel some distance to receive external-beam radiation. That can put additional stress on their families, jobs, and financial resources.

In addition to shortening the therapy time, breast brachytherapy with SAVI minimizes radiation exposure of healthy tissue, which reduces damage to critical structures such as the skin, heart, lungs and ribs.

About Cianna Medical, Inc.
Cianna Medical, Inc. is a medical device company focused on women's health and dedicated to the innovative treatment of early-stage breast cancer. The company manufactures and markets the SAVI breast brachytherapy applicator, for the delivery of radiation after lumpectomy surgery. The SAVI applicator allows precise sculpting of the radiation dose, and is designed to make the benefits of accelerated partial breast irradiation available to a greater number of women.

As one of New Jersey’s largest health systems, Virtua helps people be well, get well and stay well through a comprehensive range of health care services. Services are delivered through three health and wellness centers, three fitness centers, four acute care hospitals, primary and specialty physician practices with more than 240 physicians, urgent care centers, seven ambulatory surgery centers, home health services, two long-term care and rehabilitation centers, 12 paramedic units and a wide range of outpatient services. A leader in maternal and child health services, Virtua delivers more than 8,000 babies a year. Virtua also provides employment and wellness services to 1,700 businesses and corporations. An innovator in clinical and information technology such as electronic medical records, Virtua is recognized for its ground-breaking partnerships with GE Healthcare, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Fox Chase Cancer Center. It is the official orthopedic provider for the Philadelphia Flyers. Virtua employs more than 8,400 people and has been honored as the #1 Best Place to Work in the Delaware Valley for seven consecutive years. It is the recipient of the Consumer Choice Award from the National Research Corporation. For more information, visit  www.virtua.org or www.virtuabroadcastnetwork.org.