$50 Mammogram in October!
The TomoTherapy HD System is now treating patients!
So what is TomoTherapy? TomoTherapy is linear accelerator with a decidedly different look than the traditional C-arm constructed linear accelerators produced by all the other equipment manufacturers. The C-arm design remains the core design for all radiation treatment units, but with the advent of TomoTherapy this may change in the near future. Other manufacturers are developing ring platform accelerators as part of their equipment line-up since the treatment flexibility, simplicity of imaging capabilities and ease of upgrading technology has become apparent with TomoTherapy.
TomoTherapy has the appearance of a slightly overgrown CT scanner with a larger bore or opening for ease of patient access. This new CT style configuration for a linear accelerator was introduced into clinical use in 2002 at the University of Wisconsin Medical Center at Madison under the auspices of an NIH-funded Program Project grant. Today, in 2010, with full FDA approval there are more than 300 TomoTherapy Treatment Systems through out the world. These revolutionary linear accelerators are located in places as far away as Sweden and Hong Kong, but also as close as places like City of Hope and Hoag Memorial Hospital. Now, Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center joins the ranks of worldwide TomoTherapy users delivering helical Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT).
The name TomoTherapy describes the manner in which the radiation is delivered slice-by-slice; thus “tomo” taken from the Greek, which means “slice.” Other forms of external beam radiation treatments irradiate the entire tumor volume at one time. The advantage of helical (360 degrees) IMRT is the ability to conform the radiation dose pixel by pixel, as the patient passes through the x-ray beam. In other words, the radiation is painted onto the tumor volume by tens of thousands of narrow beamlets and individually optimized to contribute the precise tumor dose.
While all IMRT is based on the same theory of painting the dose with beamlets, TomoTherapy technology employs far more beamlets of any form of IMRT to date. This differentiation in IMRT is not critical in treating all body areas, but is helpful with some areas. Head & neck irradiation, Central Nervous System (CNS) irradiation, Total Marrow irradiation (TMI) or large irregular shaped tumor volumes are prime examples where TomoTherapy technology displays its superiority as the machine of choice.
The addition of TomoTherapy to the flagship Varian Trilogy Linear Accelerator that we commissioned in 2007 provides our Radiation Oncologists with two outstanding solutions for delivering sub-millimeter accurate treatments that best fit each patients’ unique treatment needs.
Huge technological advances in radiation oncology equipment continue to make exquisitely conformal dose delivery more readily achievable than ever before. We are excited to see the ongoing research and enhancements of this crucial cancer-fighting instrument as we partner with our patients on their cancer journey.
Y.S. Ram Rao, M.D. and Sri Gorty, M.D., Radiation Oncologists
Cancer Program Accreditation
I am pleased to announce that PVHMC’s Cancer Program received the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) results of our recent survey. We were granted accreditation for three years. Additionally, we received "Commendation" status on seven of the eight survey standards. Only 49% of all the cancer programs who are surveyed receive this rating. The Commendation areas are as follows:
Standard 3.3 Abstracting timeframe: 100% compliant per surveyors case review. Excellent Job!
The ACoS survey extensively evaluates, the hospital’s entire cancer program which reaches far beyond the Cancer Care Center. Areas in addition to the CCC that are evaluated and expected to meet ever changing standards are Surgery, Medical Records, Pathology, Radiology, Clinical Laboratory, 3S Inpatient Care, Cancer Prevention & Early Detection activities, Cancer Committee, Tumor Board & Medical Staff Leadership, Physical Therapy, Support Programs including Social Services & Pastoral Care, and last but not least our Cancer related Performance Improvements. As with any survey process, many preparatory hours were spent documenting our successes and showing our program off to its fullest while ensuring we were in total compliance across the board. We faced a few challenges with some of the new standards but thanks to much team work by all, we were successful. Thank you, to each and everyone who helped us meet and exceed the college’s expectations. We could not have done it without your commitment to excellence and your commitment to our Cancer Program.
Thank you again for your support.
Shellee Reese, RN, BSN, MHA, OCN, Administrative Director, Cancer Program