SOMC Offers Latest in Cancer Technology

Every person is unique and no two patients have exactly the same cancer-which is why the SOMC Cancer Center individualizes the care and treatment for each patient based on their needs. Southern Ohio Medical Center is introducing a new technology called Cone Beam CT to visualize and target tumors more precisely than ever before. The equipment allows the Cancer Center team to see a 3-D picture of the patient’s tumor immediately before radiation treatment is delivered. This delivers a higher dose of radiation to the tumor, while sparing normal tissue from damage. “I’m really excited to bring the Cone Beam CT to Portsmouth, so we can continue to serve our community with state-of-the-art technology,” Dr. Li-Fen Chang, senior medical director of Radiation Oncology at SOMC, said. When a patient begins radiation treatment, the physicians use CT scans to determine the patient’s radiation treatment plan, however throughout the course of treatment patients can lose weight, lose or gain fluid and the tumors may shrink or continue to grow. As a result, the radiation target sites may change. “A lot of cancer in our body is not stationary,” Dr. Chang explained. “It moves depending on how full our stomach, rectum and bladder are and during treatment we may have uncertainty of where the target really is.” Cone Beam CT allows for instant CT scans immediately before administering radiation, allowing the physician to change the radiation treatment plan according to the patient’s body changes. Utilizing the Cone Beam CT ensures the highest precision and accuracy resulting in much higher confidence when treating the tumor. This new technology will also allow the SOMC Cancer Center to utilize Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT), sometimes referred to as a Photon Knife. SBRT precisely destroys tumors through minimal treatments, holding the potential to decrease the length of therapy, while improving the chance for cure. “More and more data is proving SBRT to be successful, especially among lung cancer patients,” Dr. Chang added. “In Portsmouth we have a high rate of lung cancer. When we begin using SBRT, we can treat lung cancer patients if they are not surgical candidates. It is an excellent alternative to surgery for those in the early stages of lung cancer.” As always, SOMC is on the cutting edge of technology and looking for new and innovative ways to treat all types of cancer. To learn more about the excellent services provided at the SOMC Cancer Center, please visit www.somc.org/cancer or call 740-356-7490.