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New Cancer-Fighting Technology Means More Precise Treatment for St. Charles County Patients

Jim Goodwin

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Lannis Hall, MD, MPH.

May 3, 2012 – New state-of-the-art technology now available at the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital offers patients cutting-edge radiation therapy in a community hospital setting.

The new system advances the treatment of breast, lung, head and neck, and other cancers in part by using a built-in CT scanner to create 3-Ddigital images of tumors. The result is the precise targeting of cancerous tissue and a customized therapy for each patient.

“This technology is the first of its kind that has integrated submillimeter accuracy, imaging and radiation delivery speed. The platform delivers extremely precise radiation therapy to complex and difficult-to-treat cancers, and I am excited that we can offer this level of care to our patients, ” says Lannis Hall, MD, MPH, director of radiation oncology at Siteman's St. Peters location.

The next nearest location with similar radiation therapy technology is Siteman's main campus at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

The system tracks a patient’s breathing and other movements, monitoring more than 100,000 data points. The equipment then delivers radiation to the cancerous tissue at the precise moment and can be used to treat tumors that are less than 1 millimeter in diameter (about the thickness of a credit card) while healthy tissue nearby is protected. The targeted therapy can mean fewer side effects and improved outcomes for the patient. The equipment also delivers therapy faster than other external-beam radiation machines, which results in improved comfort for patients.

The technology, named TrueBeam, is designed Varian Medical Systems, based in Palo Alto, Calif.