Wood County Hospital strives to stay at the front end of the changing technology and innovations that enhance patient care. Recently, donations through the Foundation funded the addition of advanced cancer treatment technology for the Maurer Family Cancer Care Center. Wood County Hospital is one of a select number of area hospitals that offer this technology. The newly acquired Real-time Position Management™ (RPM) Respiratory Gating equipment is a non-invasive video based positioning assistant used in the process of Respiratory Gating. The equipment continuously monitors the movement of tumors during normal breathing for imaging and treatment of lung, breast, esophagus, pancreas, and stomach cancers. Dr. Robert Lavey, Medical Director of the Maurer Family Cancer Center, explains that “Tumors in the chest and abdomen move as the patient breathes. Respiratory Gating permits us to deliver radiation in pulses when the tumor is in the optimal phase of the respiratory cycle. Our target volume is reduced, because we don’t include areas that the tumor moves through during breathing. The patient’s lungs, heart, and liver therefore get less radiation. We can both intensify treatment of the tumor and produce fewer side effects.”
The Real-time Position Management™ (RPM) Respiratory Gating equipment is produced by Varian, the world’s leading developer of radiation therapy delivery systems. The imaging system works by tracking the treatment field through the patients breathing which activates the machine. As the patient breathes, the tumor is examined and the patient’s range of motion is measured during inhaling and exhaling. Once it is determined how the tumor moves, the gating thresholds is set for when the tumor is in the desired position of the respiratory cycle. These thresholds determine when the automatic gating system turns the treatment beam on and off. The radiation beams are smaller and more precisely focused on the cancerous cells.
This customized treatment, based on patient’s breathing pattern, lessens side effects by reducing the size of the treatment field allowing for healthy tissue to be preserved. “I am so grateful to the members of the Foundation for contributing to our progress in providing the highest level of care to our neighbors afflicted with cancer,” said Dr. Lavey. “This Center and this community are the best!”
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