From an interview with Tobin Hyman, MS, DABR Chief Medical Physicist McLeod Regional Medical Center
Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a non-surgical radiation therapy that treats cancerous tumors in the brain and spine. This form of treatment allows the McLeod Radiation Oncology team to deliver precisely-targeted radiation with sub-millimeter accuracy in a fewer number of treatments offering patients more convenience and a better quality of life.
“When treating cancer with radiation, we always try to do as little damage as possible to normal tissue,” says McLeod Chief Medical Physicist Tobin Hyman. “With SRS, advanced imaging capabilities allow us to precisely target the beam and use a higher dose of radiation without harming nearby healthy tissue.”
“Compared to conventional radiation therapy which involves smaller daily doses of radiation in 25 to 35 treatments over five to seven weeks, SRS/SABR delivers five to ten times the daily dose of radiation in as few as five days of treatment. The increased dose improves the effectiveness of this form of treatment.”
“The most common use of stereotactic radiosurgery involves the treatment of metastatic disease inside the brain. Metastatic disease occurs when the cancer cells break away from where they were first formed, travel through blood or the lymph system, and form new tumors (mets) in other parts of the body such as the brain. The met is the same type of cancer (i.e., lung or breast) but in an area away from the location of the primary disease. Mets develop in the brain, lung, spine and liver.”
“In addition to metastatic disease, SRS and SABR treat primary cancers such as small lesions in the lung, adrenal gland, prostate and liver. For example, we can treat a non-small cell lung cancer measuring five to seven centimeters. Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy also provides a potential curative treatment option for patients with early stage lung cancer who may not be candidates for surgery because of other medical conditions such as heart disease.”
“We believe that we have a great responsibility to patients and their families to commit our staff and equipment to a 360-degree review of our radiosurgery program. In today’s healthcare environment, specialized treatment techniques such as SRS and SABR should undergo a comprehensive external review at regular intervals to ensure the safest care possible is being delivered when you are treating patients with brain, spine or lung cancer.”
“McLeod was recently named a Novalis Certified Cancer Center, specifically for the practice and performance of radiosurgery. McLeod is the first cancer center in South Carolina to earn this certification. In addition, McLeod Regional Medical Center is only one of eight cancer centers in the United States to hold the Novalis certification and one of only 46 in the world.”
“The American College of Radiology also accredits McLeod Regional Medical Center. Of the 2,500 radiation treatment centers in the United States, only 710 – fewer than one out of 3 – carry ACR accreditation.”
“Patient safety stands as a priority and our accreditations attest to that importance. We earn accreditations by undergoing the analysis of our technology and practices by teams of independent, nationally known, even internationally known, experts in radiation oncology.”
OTHER PATIENT BENEFITS
“In addition to fewer, shorter treatments and safety as a priority, one of the greatest benefits for our cancer patients is that they do not need to drive several hours for treatment. Patients want to be able to spend time at home and be with their families. Our patients don’t have to go anywhere else to receive the best care available at an advanced stage of their treatment.”
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