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Published on December 04, 2013

Advanced Radiation Device Comes to Cone Health Cancer Center at Alamance Regional

A new era in radiation therapy has begun at Cone Health Cancer Center at Alamance Regional Medical Center. A highly advanced linear particle accelerator is now being used to treat cancers. The Varian TrueBeam treats a wide variety of cancers with fewer side effects and shorter treatment times.

"This provides more options for treating complex cancer cases, including lung, breast, liver, abdomen, brain, and head and neck cancers," says Dr. Glenn Chrystal, radiation oncologist, Alamance Regional Medical Center. "The TrueBeam delivers radiation so precisely, that when we are treating areas like the prostate we can avoid or reduce bowel problems by focusing radiation to the tumor region."

Such precision means that higher doses of radiation can be used. In early 2014, the cancer center plans to use TrueBeam for stereotactic radiosurgery. In this treatment, high doses of radiation destroy tumors in areas where conventional surgery can’t easily reach, such as deep inside the brain. A single, powerful dose can be focused on the tumor instead of treating a broader area with weaker doses over several days. This spares healthy tissue and is more convenient to the patient.

"This puts us, I believe, on the cutting edge of most cancer therapies," adds Chrystal.

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