St. Mary brings advanced radiation therapy technology to Bucks

The state-of-the-art linear accelerator provides highly precise radiation therapy to cancer sites found anywhere in the body

St. Mary Medical Center has invested in new radiation therapy equipment to ensure the community has access to the most advanced cancer treatment close to home. The St. Mary Cancer Center recently installed the Varian TrueBeam radiotherapy system. The state-of-the-art linear accelerator provides highly precise radiation therapy to cancer sites found anywhere in the body – and quickly.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Cancer Institute, 60 percent of cancer patients will require radiation therapy during their course of treatment. TrueBeam can be used to treat any type of cancer – such as brain, head and neck, prostate, lung, gynecologic and breast – while the patient remains in the comfort of their own community hospital.

Some key features of the new linear accelerator include: radiation therapy that targets cancer within a millimeter of accuracy; on-board imaging, or image-guided radiation therapy, allowing physicians to align the patient’s tumor, organs and bones while on the radiation treatment table, which reduces the risk of radiating healthy tissue; extremely fast delivery of radiation – in some cases, treatments may only last two to three minutes versus times as long as 10 to 15 minutes previously; radiosurgery, i.e., single dose radiation for brain tumors – there is no cutting or anesthesia and everything is completed on an outpatient basis; and stereotactic body radiation therapy to treat primary tumors throughout the body.

“This very advanced machine is only as good as the physicians who know how to use it,” said St. Mary radiation oncologist Todd Flannery, MD. “The good news is that at St. Mary Cancer Center, patients have access to world-class talent. Our radiation oncologists were recruited from top residency and training programs from around the country, including John Hopkins, Harvard and MD Anderson.”

“We combine state-of-the-art technology with compassionate care and highly skilled physicians,” Flannery added. “This investment allows us to care for our patients using the most precise, accurate and fastest delivery of radiation to fight any cancer – head-to-toe – potentially in only one to five treatments.”

To learn more about the St. Mary Cancer Center, call 1-844-7-STMARY or visit stmaryhealthcare.org/cancer