It is True Beam, and it’s the most advanced cancer treatment option for tomorrow… but it’s available TODAY, at Catawba Valley Medical Center, the first Cancer Center to have True Beam radiation therapy in North Carolina.
Image-guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery can make treatment more comfortable, less time consuming, and can reduce side effects.
Enter the TrueBeam system for image guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery, now being implemented at Catawba Valley Medical Center (CVMC). In addition to making both treatment and recovery easier on the patient, the system offers another important benefit: convenience.
The TrueBeam system uses intense, precisely targeted beams of radiation to perform stereotactic radiosurgery, which destroys cancerous tissue much like surgery would, but from outside the body without the need for incisions. The TrueBeam system can also perform image-guided radiotherapy to kill cancer cells.
“We’re pleased to offer this advanced technology to our entire region,” says Dr. Reggie Sigmon, part of the CVMC Comprehensive Cancer Center team that also includes Dr. John Delcharco and Dr. Shannon Tomlinson. “Patients who need treatment such as surgery for brain tumors won’t have to drive to Winston, Charlotte, or Asheville for this specialized care — it will be offered right here in Hickory. Saving even an hour of time, travel, and aggravation can ease a significant burden on both patients and their families.”
Treatment in Motion
Using the TrueBeam RapidArc® radiotherapy technology, complex procedures that once took forty minutes to an hour can be completed in five to twenty minutes.
“Rather than treating a tumor with multiple exposures from different, stationary angles, the system does several continuous arcs that deliver treatment while the machine is moving,” says medical physicist Len Hurst, a Diplomate of the American Board of Radiology, Radiation Safety Officer, and the CVMC Director of Radiation Therapy and Radiation Physics. “Patients spend less time on the table because we can give a higher dose in a shorter period.”
During treatment, an optical guidance system allows precise tracking of highly targeted areas— even accounting for patient movement. “The machine automatically stops and employs imaging technology to reposition so we’re always treating the spot we’re supposed to treat,” Hurst says.
This is especially useful when treating lung tumors, which move with breathing. The system’s adaptability also allows brain surgery to be performed without a metal ring screwed into the skull to hold the head still. Because the system is so precise, treatment is better able to avoid healthy tissue, resulting in fewer side effects.
“We’re excited about this system,” Hurst says. “Many people in our region will benefit from having this technology nearby.”
If you or a loved one are facing treatment of cancer, take advantage of tomorrow’s technology – available today at Catawba Valley Medical Center’s Comprehensive Cancer Center.