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North Shore Radiation Therapy in New York Performing 4-Dimensional CAT Scan Simulations for Cancer Treatment

Posted : Wed, 07 Jan 2009 20:03:50 GMT


Category : Press Release

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HUNTINGTON, N.Y. - (Business Wire) With 4-Dimensional CAT scan treatment planning, physicians are able to obtain a CAT scan while the patient breathes and then analyze the movement of a tumor and/or normal tissue inside the body. This allows for more precise targeting of the cancer treatment. According to Richard Byrnes, MD, Medical Director of North Shore Radiation Therapy, "We can no longer look at a regular CT image and believe that the tumor is totally static. Depending on the position of the tumor, it has been clearly demonstrated that breathing can impact its position, and we now have the technology to identify these movements which allows us greatly improved accuracy in cancer treatment.”

Diverse imaging technologies are necessary for optimum cancer treatment. The first step in preparing a patient for cancer treatment is called the treatment simulation. This process is usually accomplished using fluoroscopy or CT scan (CAT scan), where a patient’s tumor is localized, and marks are placed on the body for daily treatment set up. After simulation, treatment-planning computers are used to map out the radiation dose in and around the tumor, using information acquired by the CAT scan and other imaging studies such as PET scans and MRI. Although significant accuracy in cancer treatment has been achieved over the past five years, the images are only a snapshot in time, and do not account for normal internal organ motion.

Tumors in the chest and abdomen move with respiration and are good candidates for 4D CAT scan simulation. “Physicians have learned that a tumor in the abdomen or chest moves with respiration in all directions. The range could be as large as 2 cm-3 cm, which is very significant in terms of planning”, notes Heather Zinkin, MD, of North Shore Radiation Therapy in New York.

GE Healthcare's Advantage 4D CT with Varian Medical Systems' respiratory gating system has significantly impacted radiation therapy planning. These new technologies allow the physician to directly visualize tumor motion. This information is used to construct a more precise treatment plan, avoid tumor misses and minimize the amount of normal tissue in the radiation field. This becomes especially valuable in lung cancer treatment.

“Typically this type of technology has been introduced at larger university hospitals,” says Jeffrey Musmacher, Chief Operating Officer. “We are proud to offer this to our community and it's integration with other technologies such as Rapid Arc.”

Since 1988, North Shore Radiation Therapy has provided premier radiation therapy services to Suffolk County. The practice offers 3-D Conformal Radiation Therapy, IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy), IGRT (Image Guided Radiation Therapy), SRS (Stereotactic Radiosurgery), RapidArc, Prostate Brachytherapy, MammoSite and Contura Breast Brachytherapy along with Gynecological Brachytherapy. North Shore Radiation Therapy is the most experienced in prostate cancer treatment in Suffolk County. The centers are staffed by board certified physicians, and highly trained therapists with expertise in utilizing the most advanced radiation therapy technology. Located in Huntington, and Smithtown, New York, the centers are open Monday through Friday, and accept all insurance plans. Appointments can be made by calling (631) 427-2273. You can visit the website at www.cancer-radiation.com.

North Shore Radiation Therapy

Jeffrey S. Musmacher, 631-427-2273

Chief Operating Officer



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