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Renown Health First to offer new cancer treatment technology



In a promising development for cancer patients in northern Nevada, Renown Institute for Cancer announced today a new piece of state-of-the-art equipment that will better treat a wide range of cancers. The new Varian TrueBeam system is designed to deliver high doses of radiation (for image-guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery) accurately, within the fractions of millimeters, without incisions or surgery in just minutes a day.

As the most advanced linear accelerator now available for medical use, one of the key benefits to the new system is its ability to monitor and narrowly target moving tumors while avoiding the surrounding healthy tissues and organs. Many tumors in places like the lungs move when a person breathes in and out. Varian TrueBeam uses the latest technologies to match treatment to this motion, meaning there is accurate targeting throughout each treatment.

This is done because the system combines:

  • a 3-D imaging system – which allows doctors to see tumors before each treatment
  • a respiratory monitoring system – which tracks breath patterns

Dr. Dan Weed, radiation oncologist at Renown Institute for Cancer, said combining these two items has opened doors to new possibilities for cancer treatments of the lungs, breasts, prostate, head, neck and other types of cancers.

“In conjunction with the TomoTherapy Hi-Art Treatment System, the addition of Varian TrueBeam means Renown Institute for Cancer now offers the two leading radiation therapy treatments available today,” Weed said. “With customized treatments for each patient, we can treat tumors of all sizes and types throughout the entire body.”

TrueBeam delivers many forms of advanced treatments, including image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT), intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), RapidArc radiotherapy technology and Gated RapidArc, Weed said. The ability to choose between these different treatment modalities represents a level of flexibility for tailoring a patient’s radiotherapy treatments. With TrueBeam, doctors can tailor treatments for each patient’s specific case.

Patient Benefits of Varian TrueBeam compared to other options:

  • Fewer side-effects because less healthy tissue impacted
  • Shorter treatment times (less than minutes a day)
  • Enhanced precision and most accurate nonsurgical cancer treatment available due to
  • the 3-D imaging system and
  • the respiratory monitoring system capability
  • Built with patient comfort in mind
  • quiet operation and
  • enhanced communication technology that enables a constant interaction between the patient and the radiation therapist throughout the entire treatment
  • IPOD port for music to be played during treatments, helping to create a more soothing environment

“We are constantly looking at providing advance cancer treatment options for our patients,” said David Veillette, executive vice president of specialty hospitals at Renown Health. “Advance technology such as two physician-guided da Vinci surgical systems, an institute for robotic surgery, TomoTherapy, Nurse Navigators and a UCSF affiliation. TrueBeam is one of those amazing new machines we have added to our toolbox to further improve the care we offer to our patients fighting the battle over cancer. This new technology is head and shoulders above the rest.”

In February 2008, Renown Health was the region’s first hospital to introduce da Vinci Surgery, a system that applies a surgeon’s skill to computer-enhanced technology and robotics. And in June of 2010, Renown Health announced the creation of the Renown Institute for Robotic Surgery.

In September of 2010, Renown Institute for Cancer and the University of California San Francisco Medical Center joined forces to enhance patient care and improve access to top level medical experts in northern Nevada. This affiliation now brings a team of local and national experts together to offer patients the latest therapies and promising new treatments.

In 2007, The Nurse Navigator Program at Renown Institute for Cancer began charting new paths and is achieving better outcomes in each patient’s journey with cancer. The program was the first in the region to offer nurse navigation services to cancer patients. It continues to unite cancer patients with experienced registered nurses dedicated to serving as ongoing resources from diagnosis through survivorship.

Earlier this year, Renown Institute for Cancer earned a three-year accreditation with the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a program administered by the American College of Surgeons. The breast cancer accreditation makes Renown Health the only healthcare network in the region to retain all three cancer accreditations including the region’s first and only Radiation Oncology Accreditation (ACR-RO), earned earlier this year in January, and the region’s first Comprehensive Cancer Program Accreditation (ACoS CoC), which the institute has held for more than 23 years.

These three accreditations are the most any cancer program of this size can attain in the region.

In addition to being the region’s only nationally accredited cancer center in three disciplines, Renown also offers the region’s only TomoTherapy program, which applies therapeutic radiation to treat tumors with 3-D imaging daily and improved precision. When TomoTherapy was installed in November of 2008 only two percent of hospitals nation-wide had the technology.

Other types of treatment include 3-D conformal; Image Guided Radiation Therapy; Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy; Stereotactic Radiosurgery; Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy; High Dose Rate Brachytherapy for breast, GYN and Prostate and Low Dose Rate Brachytherapy, commonly performed for prostate cancer.

About Renown Institute for Cancer

Renown Institute for Cancer has been the region’s first hospital recognized by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer for comprehensive cancer care for more than 23 years. Only 25 percent of hospitals nationwide meet the Commission’s rigorous standards.

Renown Institute for Cancer is the largest healthcare provider in the area conducting clinical trials with the National Cancer Institute. Clinical trials allow patients to be on leading trends in medicine and often times they become involved in that “next big discovery” for cancer treatments. Leading northern Nevada in cancer research, Renown Institute for Cancer has administered more than 135 trials to 870 participants.

Whether individuals have been referred, are currently receiving treatment or are seeking a second opinion, they can make an appointment at Renown Institute for Cancer anytime. The team of skilled professionals brings expertise and comprehensive resources to patient care. For general inquiries, contact 775-982-6830 or visit www.renown.org/cancer.

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