One challenge in treating cancerous tumors is that it can damage good tissue along with the bad. A new radiation system can minimize that risk. The new Cotton-O'Neil Cancer Center is home to the Trilogy, a new image-guided radiation therapy system.
Dr. Russell Greene of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine says the new technology allows doctors to visualize cancerous tumors better from the inside of the body. In the past, the area receiving radiation was identified using bone and skin markers on the outside of the body. With the trilogy, doctors place internal markers and x-ray arms right on the machine can identify moment-to-moment where the cancerous area is.
Dr. Greene says the advance is important because tumors can shift on a day to day basis based on bodily function, and a second-to-second basis just by a person's breathing. He says doctors will now be able to track where the tumor is located while the person breathes while receiving radiation therapy. Watching technicians can adjust the area accordingly and use lasers to pinpoint their cancerous target, ensuring the radiation gets where it's needed. Dr. Greene says the increased precision minimizes radiation to the healthy tissue around the tumor, which can minimize the side effects and lower the risk of complications.
Dr. Greene says the new system is best for small, localized tumors or those near critical organs. He cautions it's not a cure, but he says it is a new spin on upping the odds of survival.
Cotton-O'Neil's system is only the second of its kind in Kansas. You can see it yourself at an open house from 1 to 3 p.m., Sunday, January 14. The Cancer Center is located at 1414 SW 8th in Topeka.