The CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital Regional Cancer Center has unveiled the most advanced approach to what is known as 3D conformal radiation therapy.
One of the most exciting recent developments in cancer fighting radiotherapy treatment, Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy or IMRT, is an ultra-precise technique that is clearly demonstrating improvements in the treatment of prostate and head and neck cancers in studies currently underway at New York ’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Stanford University in California .
IMRT will allow our physicians to deliver substantially more cancer-killing energy (generally x-rays) to tumors while decreasing potentially harmful doses to surrounding normal tissues. Clinical studies indicate the higher dose rates delivered with IMRT techniques are improving the rate of local tumor control.
Recent studies, one in prostate cancer patients in particular, have shown that higher radiation doses (anywhere between 13 and 25 percent higher than commonly used in conventional radiotherapy) more than doubled the rate of local tumor control. “With IMRT, we are now able to deliver higher doses while simultaneously reducing the rate of certain normal tissue complications,” states Regional Cancer Center Radiation Oncologist, Larry Hauskins, M.D. “As a compliment to the IMRT equipment, CHRISTUS St. Patrick has also purchased new and highly advanced treatment planning equipment that puts us on a par with any facility in the country.”
In addition to prostate treatments, other trials are documenting IMRT’s effectiveness in treating head and neck tumors as well as breast cancer. Elekta IMRT helps radiation oncologists achieve increased precision through a combination of computerized machines (called medical linear accelerators) that produce and deliver the radiation, advanced planning ptanning and control software, and specialized mechanical devices used to shape or “sculpt” the radiation beams.
To learn more about this new innovative technology being offered at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital, please 1-888-72B-WELL, extension 358, or log on to www.stpatrickhospital.org .