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Cancer patients to receive faster, more-precise radiosurgery at Poudre Valley Health System

Poudre Valley Health System

For immediate release: March 20, 2012

Sandra Larson: 970.214.6632

Poudre Valley Health System will treat its first cancer patients today using TrueBeamTM STx with Novalis® Radiosurgery from Varian Medical Systems and Brainlab, an innovative medical technology capable of significantly faster, more precise image-guided radiosurgery.

Dr. Joshua Petit, medical director of radiation oncology at Poudre Valley Hospital, will treat two patients for prostate cancer using the new technology Tuesday.

The TrueBeam STx was recently installed at PVHS' Harmony Campus in Fort Collins as part of a $7.1 million expansion of its radiation oncology department. It is the first TrueBeam STx available in Colorado.

"It can do everything that CyberKnife® does-and more," Dr. Petit said. "There is no longer any reason for a cancer patient to travel to Denver for radiation therapy."

The TrueBeam STx can be used to treat virtually any type of cancer in any location on the body, Dr. Petit said. The ultra-precise technology can treat more complex and more advanced cancers than older linear accelerator technologies. The TrueBeam STx pinpoints radiation beam delivery with sub-millimeter accuracy, making it possible to radiate brain and other complex tumors without destroying nearby healthy tissue.

A complex radiosurgery that typically takes 30 to 60 minutes can be completed in just 5 to 20 minutes with the TrueBeam STx.

"More targeted treatment with less damage to healthy tissue is the name of the game in radiation oncology," Dr. Petit said. "TrueBeam STx makes it possible to deliver image-guided treatments very quickly. At the same time, we can monitor and compensate for tumor motion, and that further increases treatment accuracy."

Dr. Petit has experience treating cancer patients with the TrueBeam STx technology through his training in the Harvard Radiation Oncology Program, as well as several years developing and leading a busy radiosurgery program at the largest radiation oncology center in the Washington DC area. He joined PVH radiation oncology in January 2010 and was instrumental in planning the department's expansion, including the purchase and installation of the TrueBeam STx, with the goal of building another highly successful radiosurgery program.

TrueBeam STx can deliver treatments 2.4 to 4 times faster with a radiation dose delivery rate of up to 2,400 monitor units per minute-double the output of most other radiosurgery systems. Independent studies have shown that with faster treatments there is less tumor and patient movement, providing for more precise treatment.

The machine's imager can generate 3-D images of the tumor and surrounding anatomy 60 percent faster than was possible with previous imaging technology. In addition, images can be generated using 25 percent less X-ray dose. These images are used to fine-tune a patient's position prior to and during the treatment process.

"Intelligent" automation further speeds treatments with an up to five-fold reduction in the steps needed for imaging, positioning and treating patients.

TrueBeam STx can be used for many forms of advanced stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).

"Each of these approaches is appropriate for a certain type of clinical situation," Dr. Petit said. "With TrueBeam STx, we can create a personalized radiosurgery treatment for each patient."



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