$5.4 Million in New Cancer Radiation Technology Improves Treatment
The MetroHealth Cancer Care Center is investing $5.4 million into cancer treatment technology, making MetroHealth one of the most advanced, high-quality cancer treatment facilities in Northeast Ohio.
What does this mean for patients?
- Extremely precise delivery of radiation therapy, thus sparing healthy tissue near the tumor from radiation damage.
- Tumors can be treated in a shorter amount of time without compromising care quality.
- More accurate radiation doses that better match patients' individual treatment plans.
- Accommodation of large patients or patients in immobilization devices without reducing image quality.
- Exact radiation beam data will be the same on two machines, allowing for continuous patient treatment if one machine cannot be used.
- Specialized treatments such as stereotactic radiosurgery and high-dose-rate brachytherapy.
“When done, this will also make referrals much easier and we’ll see patients within 24 to 48 hours and start treatment within five working days,’’ said Peter Laye, MD, who leads radiation oncology at MetroHealth.
Technology investments include:
A new $2.6 million linear accelerator, the only one of its kind in Northeast Ohio. With stereotactic radiosurgery capability, Trilogy can target radiation to an area as small as a pencil point, minimizing damage to healthy tissue surrounding a tumor.
It delivers radiation doses nearly 60 percent faster than conventional linear accelerators used to treat cancer, providing patient treatment in a much shorter period of time.
“This more precise treatment to the tumor eliminates a lot of side effects that patients may have,’’ said Dr. Laye, and speeds up individual treatment programs. For example, with stage one lung cancer patients who are not surgical candidates, stereotactic therapy offers just as good results, if not better, than surgery does for a surgical candidate, said Dr. Laye. And with stereotactic therapy, patients will have three to five treatments as opposed to 35 for more traditional radiation therapy.
A high dose rate brachytherapy system to deliver high dose rate treatments on an outpatient basis. “MetroHealth does a lot of post-operative brachytherapy,’’ said Dr. Laye. ‘’With the new technology, we can avoid some of the site effects.’’
A new on-board imaging system on its accelerator, allowing the medical team to take daily images of the patient in their treatment position and align these images to the planned treatment image so they can direct the radiation very accurately to the tumor’s location.
A big-bore CT simulator which can accommodate patients up to 440 pounds and obtain images with unparalled speed and clarity.
The additional technology gives MetroHealth two machines which are so similar that if one goes down, specialists can transfer the patient data from one machine to another. “That means there is no down time and no interruption of therapy,’’ explained Dr. Laye.
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