Peninsula Regional Medical Center’s TrueBeam offers local cancer patients state-of-the-art radiation technology with incredible precision and comfort
These days, when Amos Davis rises from his bed in the pre-dawn mornings of New Church, VA, ready to haul another truckload of ripe tomatoes the thousand miles that lie between him and Florida, he does so with a newfound feeling of gratitude. That’s because Amos Davis greets each new day as a man who knows he’s beaten cancer, thanks to the state-of-the-art technology and dedicated professionals on staff at The Richard A. Henson Cancer Institute at Peninsula Regional Medical Center.
But Amos has another distinction. Treated for prostate cancer in September 2012, he is also the very first patient to receive TrueBeam™ radiation therapy at PRMC.
TrueBeam is a new radiation technology that offers a level of pinpoint accuracy and rapid administration that revolutionizes the treatment currently found at the majority of community hospitals and medical centers around the country. With TrueBeam, tumors can be targeted with sub-millimeter accuracy. This is made possible by the system’s sophisticated architecture, which establishes a new level of synchronization between imaging, patient positioning, motion management, beam shaping and dose delivery technologies, performing accuracy checks every 10 milliseconds throughout a single treatment cycle. In all, over 100,000 data points are monitored continually, ensuring that the system maintains a "true isocenter," or focal point, of treatment.
“It’s such an easy and comfortable process compared with other types of treatment,” shared Bonnie Losiewski, chief radiation therapist at the Richard A. Henson Cancer Institute. “We take daily x-ray images to ensure accurate patient set-up as prescribed by the physician. These images are evaluated by the radiation therapists, and the treatment table is moved into the exact position to allow treatment of the target while avoiding exposure of healthy tissues to harmful radiation. This process is called Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT).”
Following the IGRT, Losiewski went on to explain, the TrueBeam rotates around an isocenter, localized by freckle-sized
tattoos placed on the patient. The entire process takes no more than 15 minutes, most of which is just set-up time. And though some may experience short-term fatigue or a minor skin reaction, most patients return to their normal activities the same day.
“I had 39 treatments in all, and I actually had a good time,” said the 67-year-old Davis, who’s been a commercial truck driver for almost 30 years. “Each session took maybe 12 to 15 minutes, and I was on my way with the rest of my day. It didn’t hurt at all, and the staff at the Henson Institute was whatever is beyond amazing, fantastic and 100 percent perfect! I couldn’t possibly have hoped for better care from nicer people.”
The other advantage to TrueBeam’s quick turnaround time is that it enables the caregivers to treat that many more patients and, therefore, give hope to that many more lives.
“We’re all very encouraged by the results we’re seeing with TrueBeam,” Losiewski offered, “and obviously we’re grateful that we have it.”
As of his most recent examination, Amos Davis remains cancer-free. He returns to PRMC’s Henson Cancer Institute in June for his next appointment.
PENINSULA REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER
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