Supplement | HBS Case Collection | September 2012

Intraoperative Radiotherapy for Breast Cancer (B)

by Willy Shih


The intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT) business at Carl Zeiss Meditec had struggled with growth since the time of the (A) case. Though the unit had grown revenues in excess of 50% and had exceeded its EBIT target, it faced several key strategic choices. Should it continue to specialize in the breast cancer segment, or should it focus more on surgery with radiotherapy as one technical solution. Should it continue its focus on more mature markets, or should it be making focused investments in emerging markets? The (A) case poses IORT as a disruptive technology, and the (B) case offers the instructor an opportunity to gauge the progress the protagonist has made in applying that framework.

Keywords: radiotherapy; breast cancer; brachytherapy; therapeutic radiation; oncology; oncology treatment systems; Elekta AB; Varian Medical Systems; Xoft; Electronic Brachytherapy; Intraoperative radiotherapy; Disruptive Innovation; Health Care and Treatment; Entrepreneurship; Technological Innovation; Growth and Development Strategy; Health Industry; Germany;


Shih, Willy. "Intraoperative Radiotherapy for Breast Cancer (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 613-040, September 2012.