Tampa Bay, Florida (March 1, 2023) – Advanced Cancer Treatment Centers is now able to use a unique combination of imaging and motion management technologies from Varian Medical Systems to treat a wide range of cases involving moving tumors.
Traditionally in order to ensure that they are hitting a moving target, radiation oncologists have had to treat a significant amount of healthy tissue around the tumor site. This has made it difficult to use radiotherapy to treat moving tumors in a variety of locations such as the lung, the upper abdomen and the breast.
The sophisticated treatment employed by Advanced Cancer Treatment Centers combines the use of Varian’s On-Board Imager™ device for automated, image-guided patient positioning with Varian’s respiratory gating for synchronizing treatment with the patient’s respiratory cycle.
Respiratory gating is a non-invasive technique for dealing with tumor motion during radiation therapy treatments for cancer. The computer-aided technique synchronizes the radiation therapy with a patient’s breathing patterns. This enables doctors to safely treat lung and other cancers of the chest and abdomen with radiation therapy, while exposing less volume of healthy tissue to radiation.
Just prior to treatment the radiation therapist places a small plastic cube with reflective markers on the patient’s chest. A video camera tracks the movement of the cube as the patient breathes. The computer program keeps track of the patient’s normal breathing pattern. Treatment is then synchronized to the patient’s breathing so that radiation is delivered to the tumor area only during a pre-determined portion of the respiratory cycle. If that patient coughs or the normal breathing pattern is interrupted for some reason, the treatment beam is automatically switched off, until a normal breathing pattern is reestablished.
“Respiratory gating lets us treat during only part of the respiratory cycle,” said Dr. Clayton Alonso, board certified radiation oncologist, “and that allows us to minimize tumor motion so we will be aiming at a smaller area for treatments.”
“We use a small box on the person’s chest, monitored by an in-room camera, to track the respiratory cycle. At the same time, we obtain essentially a video CT-Scan. Then we use those two things together to see how the patient’s tumor moves as they’re breathing. Ultimately that allows us to treat them during only part of their respiratory cycle, which lets us aim at a smaller area,” added Dr. Alonso.
In addition, ACTC has many other techniques to use. “We have two exciting new additions,” said Dr. Alonso. “Stereotactic body radiation therapy is one of them. That lets us give a high dose of local radiation. Our physicists just approved SBRT, and we’re really excited to have it. The other one is DIBH (deep inspiratory breath hold) along with the 4D gating. These help us deliver treatment during specific phases of a person’s breathing pattern and allow us to more accurately target radiation while aiming at a smaller area.”
SBRT is a new technology that is most commonly used by Advanced Cancer Treatment Centers to treat lung cancer, small brain metastases, as well as liver lesions and various other organs depending on the situation. “One of the big benefits is that it only takes anywhere from one to five treatments to complete. “The side effects to normal tissue nearby are much less, and the cure rates are very high,” said Dr. Peter Zavitsanos, board certified radiation oncologist at Advanced Cancer Treatment Centers. “For example, in early-stage lung cancer the local control rate is on the order of 90% with SBRT. It’s a great modality to use,” he added.
“DIBH especially helps with left-sided breast cancer patients to reduce the heart dose. Patients are treated while they hold a deep breath for a few seconds, which helps to move the heart away from the radiation field,” said Dr. Zavitsanos.
About Varian Medical Systems
Varian Medical Systems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California, is the world’s leading supplier of equipment and software for treating cancer. The company is also a premiere supplier of components including x-ray tubes and flat panel detectors for medical, scientific, and industrial imaging. The company operates manufacturing and engineering centers in Baden, Switzerland, Crawley, England, Haan, Germany, Helsinki, Finland, and Toulouse, France, and has headquarters for Europe, Middle East, India, and Africa, based in Zurich, Switzerland.
About Advanced Cancer Treatment Centers
Advanced Cancer Treatment Centers, located at 15211 Cortez Boulevard, Brooksville, Florida 34613, offers personalized, evidence-based cancer care in a modern, state-of-the-art facility close to home. Conveniently located just east of Suncoast Parkway on State Road 50, ACTC offers personalized care at every stage by the following physicians:
- Clayton Alonso, MD, Radiation Oncology
- Aaron Denson, MD, Hematology Oncology
- Frantz Francisque, MD, Hematology-Oncology
- D. Alan Kerr, II, MD, PhD, Hematology Oncology
- Peter Zavitsanos, MD, Radiation Oncology
The medical team also includes Amy Morgan, APRN-C, and Apryl Moss DNP, APRN, FNP-C.
The 21,000 square foot facility includes an infusion room, medical oncology, examination rooms, radiation oncology exam rooms, treatment vault, in-house full laboratory and the latest in radiation oncology treatment systems and the latest diagnostic equipment including CT scan and mobile PET.
ACTC’s caregivers and staff offer support services including financial counselors to address the unique psychological and emotional challenges of cancer patients and their families. The center also features a dedicated research department for clinical trials.
For more information go to ACTCHealth.com or call 352-345-4565.