What is TARGIT

Every patient with breast cancer is different so it is necessary for treatment strategies to be tailored to meet an individual patient's needs.

TARGIT is an acronym for (TARGeted Intraoperative radioTherapy). TARGIT  is a technique of giving radiotherapy to the tissues surrounding a cancer  (tumour bed) after its surgical removal. The technique was designed in 1998 at the University College London by Jayant S Vaidya and Michael Baum along with Jeffrey Tobias. One can say that TARGIT is a special method of intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT).

The TARGIT-A trial am international randomized controlled clinical trial that tested whether TARGIT is either equivalent or superior to conventional course of external beam postoperative radiotherapy for breast cancer which is normally given to the whole breast over a course of several weeks. The main results have been published in the Lancet in 2010 and 2013 and are described here


The full report of the TARGIT-A trial is published by UK Department of Health - NHS National Institute of Health Research Journals Library and can be accessed TARGIT-A randomised clinical trial of TARGIT IORT using Intrabeam Health Technology Assessment 2016;20(73)

Targeting radiotherapy to the tumor bed means it can be delivered accurately at the time of surgery, does not delay adjuvant chemotherapy, and could allow breast conserving surgery (rather than mastectomy) when the 3 to 6-week course of postoperative radiotherapy is not desirable or practical. The technique has been tested in the TARGIT-A multinational clinical trial in comparison with conventional external beam radiotherapy.

History, scientific publications and papers, presentations, operative videos are available at the TARGIT Trial and results website

Targeted Intraoperative Radiotherapy

Immediately after tumor removal, radiation is applied by means of a spherical applicator that is surgically placed in the tumour bed ensuring accurate distribution of radiation dose to the breast tissue that needs treatment.

Reduced mortality from non-breast-cancer causes in the TARGIT-A trial has been vindicated in the meta-analysis of trials of partial breast irradiation showing how Targeted radiotherapy leads to an improved survival