The Hope Center houses a state of the art high energy Varian linear accelerator that is used to treat patients with cancer. These accelerators use x-rays and electrons to penetrate into the tumor and kill cancer cells. This unit is equipped with the most advanced Multi-Leaf Collimator (MLC) system that is available. The MLC allows the radiation to target the tumor cells while protecting the patient's normal tissue.
Simulation is the process with which the physicians obtain images of the body in order to obtain the appropriate treatment plan. CT simulation is currently an industry standard for patient care. The CT simulator at the Hope Center offers our patients the most current technology to aid in the fight against cancer.
Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation
Uses the HDR and special catheters to treat breast lumpectomy cavities over 5 days as opposed to a 5-6 week conventional radiation treatment
Uses tiny radioactive "seeds", implanted in the prostate to deliver the therapeutic dose from within. The radioactivity decays away, leaving the inert seeds behind.
Image Guided Radiation Therapy
The Hope Center offers Image Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT) for cancer treatment. This is the one of the latest tools in the fight against cancer. It has been documented through a number of studies that the prostate or other targets move on a daily basis. Previous treatment methods could not account for this organ motion. With the use of IGRT, therapists are able to localize implanted markers or bony anatomy, fuse the images electronically with the expected images and automatically shift the patient daily so the radiation fields will be accurately placed to treat the cancer. This technology allows the patient to receive higher doses of radiation while reducing the potential for side effects.
High Dose Rate (HDR) Remote Afterloading technology
Treats tumors from within, using a radioactive source on a wire - pre-programmed to deliver a precise, contoured radiation dose to the targeted area
Electronic Portal Imaging Device (EPID)
Digital imaging has been one of the biggest improvements in patient care over the past decade. Sarah Cannon has implemented this technology on our linear accelerator. Cancer patients undergoing external beam radiation are frequently subject to x-ray procedures in order to determine proper placement of the radiation fields. Using standard x-ray films forced the patient to be on the treatment table for long periods of time and thus extending their treatment visit. By implementing digital imaging, the time the patient is on the table has been greatly reduced. The physician can now review images instantaneously without waiting for the film image to develop. This leads to shorter appointment times and allows the patients to get back to their everyday life more quickly.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
IMRT is quickly becoming the standard of care in cancer treatment. The Hope Center offers this technology to treat areas such as prostate, rectal, head and neck, and gynecological tumors. The benefit of our IMRT is that it treats a tumor using the MLC in dynamic mode. This allows us to vary the radiation intensity in a smooth fashion over the target area. This technique "paints" the tumor with very precise levels of radiation. Varying the radiation intensity this ways allows us to contour the radiation around complex tumor shapes, while sparing normal tissue in close proximity to the target, allowing higher doses to tumors and lowering complications. This precise treatment delivery is only possible using the most advanced technology available. Our cancer center has invested in this technology in order to provide the best possible treatment options for our patients.
Most patients never get an opportunity to see how their treatment plan is derived. This process requires advanced computers and planning systems to compute the proper dose to deliver while reducing the dose to critical structures. Our Cancer Center utilizes the Varian Eclipse treatment planning system which allows our staff to view full CT data in 3-D, fuse images with other modalities as well as calculate complex IMRT plans. With the latest software releases, The Hope Center ensures that our patients will be treated with the most up to date technology in order to receive the best possible outcomes.