Intraoperative Radiation Therapy

St John of God Subiaco Hospital is the only private hospital in Australia offering Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT), a rapid radiation treatment for breast cancer.

Suitable for select women with early breast cancer, IORT reduces treatment time from three to seven weeks of daily radiation to a single, targeted treatment that is administered while a patient is undergoing surgery to remove the cancer.

After a patient’s tumor is removed by a surgeon, and before the incision is closed, radiation is strategically delivered to the area where the tumor was located by a radiation oncologist for approximately 20 to 30 minutes. 

This provides a precise therapeutic dose in the location where local recurrence is most likely to occur.

Watch the Seven News story to learn more.


Some of the significant patient benefits of IORT:

  • By dramatically reducing treatment time and minimising side effects, patients can spend more time focusing on their recovery and can resume daily activities sooner
  • IORT offers convenience to women who work full-time, and to rural patients who have traditionally had to arrange and pay for accommodation for extended periods of time when coming to Perth to receive treatment
  • Radiation targets tissue in the tumor bed from the inside, minimising exposure to healthy tissue and organs

Step 1: The position of the tumour is determined.

IORT step 1

Step 2: During surgery a minimally invasive access point is created.

IORT step 2

Step 3: The tumour is surgically removed.

IORT step 3

Step 4: The correct size of the applicator is determined and the applicator is positioned in the tumour bed.

IORT step 4

Step 5: The tumour bed is locally irradiated for about 30 minutes.

IORT step 5

Step 6: The applicator is removed and the incision closed.

IORT step 6


St John of God Subiaco Hospital Breast Surgeons currently accredited in the use of IORT are:

For a referral to any of the specialist surgeons listed above please speak with your GP.

Radiation is administered by GenesisCare Radiation Oncologists.

For more information about IORT or a referral to our specialists who deliver this treatment, please speak with your general practitioner.

For more information about our cancer services please visit Cancer care.