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MUSC's Hollings Cancer Center, Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center Partner on New TomoTherapy Treatment for Cancer Patients
Date:1/31/2008

Intensity Modulated Radiation Incorporates CT Imaging to Deliver

Exceptional Accuracy

CHARLESTON, S.C., Jan. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center and the Medical University of South Carolina's Hollings Cancer Center have partnered to bring TomoTherapy -- the latest in precision radiation therapy -- to cancer patients.

The TomoTherapy Hi-Art Treatment System is one of two available in South Carolina. The VA Medical Center and Hollings Cancer Center (HCC), both located in Charleston, S.C., collaborated to bring the advanced technology to patients because of its ability to target tumors of all sizes throughout the body with exceptional accuracy while minimizing damage to surrounding tissue.

"We are happy for the opportunity to partner with the VA to bring this technology to cancer patients," said Joseph Jenrette, M.D., Chair of MUSC's Department of Radiation Oncology. "We consider it the most important breakthrough in radiation therapy in the past few years. It provides the most accurate treatment available for some cancers."

"TomoTherapy offers the latest cancer treatment technology to veterans and citizens throughout the Lowcountry," said Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center Director John Barilich. "We are very pleased to bring this technology to South Carolina through our partnership."

TomoTherapy, currently used for tumors of the head and neck, brain, lung/chest wall, pancreas, lymph nodes, spine, prostate, abdomen, and rectum, augments sophisticated cancer treatment protocols both facilities offer. HCC continues to offer conventional radiation with the linear accelerator. Expert teams including physicians, physicists, and radiation therapists develop treatment protocols based on an individual patient's diagnosis.

TomoTherapy incorporates 3-D CT images to "paint" a tumor. A thin beam rotates 360-degrees around the body, delivering precise treatment while avoiding surrounding tissue and organs. The use of CT imaging allows treatment teams to evaluate the tumor daily and refine dosage as necessary, possibly leading to new treatment protocols in which patients receive stronger doses for fewer days. Typically, patients receiving radiation therapy, via TomoTherapy or conventional means, do so daily for 5-35 days. Physicians from both facilities are developing new protocols to enhance patients' quality of life. In addition, the new technology offers advanced training for residents and medical students in South Carolina and neighboring states.


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SOURCE Medical University of South Carolina
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