April 7, 2014 — The Valley Hospital’s Daniel & Gloria Blumenthal Cancer Center continues to offer patients with cancer the latest advancements in radiation oncology, as evidenced by the TrueBeam™ radiotherapy system.
TrueBeam enables radiation oncologists to use high doses of radiation to treat many types of tumors with pinpoint accuracy, thus avoiding harm to surrounding healthy tissue. The Blumenthal Cancer Center currently has one TrueBeam linear accelerator for delivering radiation therapy, with a second one under installation.
“Our TrueBeam linear accelerator delivers radiation treatments with precision that can be measured in millimeters, at a speed that is up to 400 percent faster than our former accelerators,” notes Chad DeYoung, M.D., Medical Director of Radiation Oncology at the Blumenthal Cancer Center. “Patients benefit from receiving the most advanced radiation therapy within a shortened time frame that allows them to return to their jobs and other activities more quickly than before.”
TrueBeam rotates around the patient to deliver the radiation dose from nearly every angle. In most cases, treatment takes just a few minutes a day instead of the 30 to 60 minutes or so it could take with older linear accelerators. This provides a more comfortable treatment environment for patients.
TrueBeam is used for conventional radiation therapy, 3-D radiation therapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy, image-guided radiation therapy, stereotactic body radiotherapy, and stereotactic radiosurgery. The technology delivers radiation therapy more safely and efficiently for patients by integrating:
• the powerful treatment of tumors with pinpoint precision;
• real-time imaging so clinicians can “visualize” the tumor they are targeting for treatment; and
• safety features and communication technology that enable radiation technologists to monitor patients at all times and interact with them via three closed-circuit television systems.
TrueBeam’s real-time imaging enables clinicians to manage one of the challenges of radiation therapy: targeting the tumor precisely with high doses of radiation even when a patient breathes. “Even the slightest movement a patient makes -- even when they take a quick breath -- can move a tumor slightly out of place and jeopardize the ability to target the tumor with precision,” says Deborah Panetta, BS, RRT, Director of Radiation Oncology. “TrueBeam’s real-time imaging enables the linear accelerator to be programmed during certain times of a patient’s breathing cycle so that targeted treatments can be synchronized with respiration. This feature is especially useful in treating tumors of the lung, chest, esophagus, and liver.”
Panetta adds that the use of electronic medical records at the Blumenthal Cancer Center and throughout The Valley Hospital is a major component of the Department of Radiation Oncology’s ability to provide seamless radiation therapy communication and services.
“All of our patients’ records are easily accessible to members of our treatment team, as well as to patients’ other physicians,” notes Panetta. “This enhances workflow, efficiency, communication, and improved safety for our patients.”
The Valley Hospital has received six Gold Seals from The Joint Commission for cancer care for breast, lung, colon/rectal, prostate, pancreatic, and uterine-ovarian cancers. This is more than any other hospital in the nation. Valley’s cancer care program was also awarded a Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation by the Commission on Cancer. For more information about Valley’s cancer care services, call 201-634-5707 or visit www.ValleyFightsCancer.com.