Advanced Cancer Care Technology
As part of a commitment to excellence in cancer patient care, John Stoddard Cancer Center, a service of UnityPoint Health - Des Moines, is pleased to offer our patients with advanced technology in our center. This allows us to provide the best quality cancer care and treatments.
A New Option For Difficult-To-Treat Cancers
To perform the treatment, Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) and advanced X-ray is required. Using IGRT, the tumor's location is checked with a CT scan and X-ray prior to each treatment, and treatment is delivered with the Trilogy Linear Accelerator. Trilogy incorporates the extra imaging tools required to perform IGRT. With some cancers, like John Wash's lung cancer, small gold seeds are implanted in the tumor to allow providers to image the tumor more clearly.
New technology is not for the benefit of the doctors at the John Stoddard Cancer Center, but for the patients. If a doctor has the ability to treat someone but doesn't have the tools, it would be extremely frustrating for both patient and doctor. As our patients come first, John Stoddard Cancer Center makes sure to provide as many state-of-the-art tools as possible to increase the people we can help.
"RapidArc is the most advanced radiation therapy available for cancer patients," said Dr. Isaak. "By rotating at a continuous 360-degree arc around patients, RapidArc is able to target the tumor with greater precision and accuracy while reducing radiation exposure and treatment time-from 20 minutes to two minutes."
RapidArc causes fewer side effects by sparing normal tissue, and shorter procedure times result in more flexible scheduling options for patients and physicians. John Stoddard is the first cancer center in Iowa to use RapidArc.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Computed Tomography (CT)
The PET/CT is a combination of two imaging technologies to provide a more complete picture of cancer in the body.
Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
During this process - which is used on tumor locations that can often change, such as prostate cancer-radiation oncologists determine the exact location of the patient's tumor before each treatment by comparing CT scans.
When tumors move due to activities, like breathing, they can move out of range of the radiation beams. With respiratory gaiting, the radiation will turn off when the tumor is out of range.
Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
IMRT is a form of radiation therapy in which the radiation beams are shaped to fit the exact location, size and shape of the tumor and spare surrounding healthy tissues. Additionally, the Stoddard Cancer Center is one of the first facilities in the country to use rapid arc IMRT, a new way of conducting a very precise form of IMRT by making the machine arc around the patient while in operation.
Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS)
The Stoddard Cancer Center was the first facility to offer SRS in central Iowa. SRS offers sub-millimeter accuracy in cancer treatments.
SpaceOAR® hydrogel is an option for men who undergo radiation treatment for prostate cancer. It acts as a spacer providing space between the rectum and the prostate, making it much less likely that the rectum is exposed to radiation. It is injected into place prior to the start of radiation treatment. Patients may be awake or asleep under general anesthesia for the procedure. SpaceOAR®
hydrogel is not painful, remains stable during radiation therapy and then is gradually absorbed by the body after radiation therapy has been completed.