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Sutter Solano Cancer Center Offers Oncology Patients Customized Cancer Treatment
Date:11/8/2007

Breakthrough IMRT technology targets tumors, spares healthy tissue

VALLEJO, Calif., Nov. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Sutter Solano Cancer Center's oncology patients now have access to the most advanced and accurate radiation therapy system available. Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) offers patients in the North Bay region customized cancer treatment resulting in quicker, more accurate treatment for several types of cancers, including breast, prostate, head, neck and lung cancers.

"The amazing thing about this new technology is that it promises to help increase survival rates and decrease complications," says Janice Hoss, R.N., director of cancer services at Sutter Solano Cancer Center. "IMRT is more precise -- sparing healthy tissue and allowing for treatments that can be custom designed for each patient's situation."

Using advanced 3D computer modeling, SmartBeam(TM) IMRT carefully targets tumor cells by wrapping beams of radiation around healthy tissue and vital organs. This precise targeting allows higher, more effective doses of radiation to be delivered to cancerous cells, giving clinicians a better possibility of fully eradicating the tumor, rather than simply causing a temporary regression.

"We can form the shape of the radiation beam to the exact shape of the tumor from any angle," says Hoss. "The result is shorter treatment times and fewer complications. This truly represents a major breakthrough in cancer treatment that benefits our patients' quality of life and the community we serve."

Recent studies performed at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, N.Y., for example, have shown that IMRT leads to improved cure rates and decreased complications. The studies demonstrated that in certain cases of cancer, cure rates were improved from 43 to 96 percent using IMRT, and the complication rate dropped from six percent to two percent.

SSCC continues to provide area residents with the same breakthrough cancer-treating technology used in medical facilities with world-class reputations. Most recently, SSCC has added respiratory gating capabilities. Primarily used for certain cases of breast and lung cancer, respiratory gaiting allows clinicians to place radiation beams precisely and track the position of tumors as they move when a patient breathes. SSCC expects to start treating its first patients using respiratory gating within the next month.

About Sutter Solano Medical Center

For more than 100 years, SSMC has been committed to the community by providing emergency care, delivering babies, and serving others in time of need. The medical center has 111 licensed beds and is fully accredited by The Joint Commission, an independent, non-profit with the mission to continuously improve the safety and quality of care provided to the public.

Sutter Solano Cancer Center is fully accredited by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons -- a recognition only one in four cancer centers receive. Comprehensive cancer services include chemotherapy, infusion therapy, laboratory and pathology, pain management and radiation therapy.

SSMC is part of Sutter Health, a not-for-profit network of hospitals, doctors, and nurses who share expertise and resources to advance health care quality.


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SOURCE Sutter Solano Medical Center
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