Monmouth Medical Center, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, has unveiled a new tomotherapy suite featuring a significant equipment upgrade that is providing the latest highly advanced radiation therapy in a calming, patient-centered environment.
MMC first began offering tomotherapy—image-guided radiation therapy—more than a decade ago, reflecting the hospital’s leadership in advanced cancer treatment.
Now, MMC remains at the forefront of cancer innovation with the latest highly advanced radiation therapy, the Radixact tomotherapy system, which allows for even more precise cancer treatment.
Combining radiation treatment with computed tomography (CT) scans, tomotherapy provides 3D images capturing the exact location of a tumor, which can then be precisely targeted with cancer-destroying radiation beams.
“Utilizing tomotherapy, we can optimally deliver doses to the cancer but minimal radiation to normal tissues around it,” said radiation oncologist Dr. Sang Sim, a member of RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group. “Each patient has their own individualized treatment plan that defines how the machine delivers radiation to treat their cancer.”
The level of precision the new unit offers allows radiation oncologists to deliver stronger, higher doses in fewer sessions without increasing damage to healthy tissue. As small changes in tissue positions can occur due to factors such as normal organ shifts, fullness or emptiness of the bladder or rectum, or tumor shrinkage after previous radiation sessions, the new unit’s ability to allow oncologists to review the anatomy in real time and adjust the treatment plan accordingly within minutes results in better targeting of the cancer and minimized short and long-term side effects.
“Normally, we make a plan and treat the patient with that plan,” said Dr. Mitchell Weiss, chair of Radiation Oncology, Monmouth Medical Center and a member of RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group. “The new unit now allows us to also review the anatomy—both healthy tissue and tumor—while the patient is on the table and in minutes adjust the plan if the anatomy has changed in any way.”