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CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE – Last month, the Cancer Center at Cape Regional Medical Center treated its first patient with the new Varian TrueBeam radiation therapy system.
That patient was Richard Murphy, former director of plant operations at Cape Regional. During his tenure, from 1990 until 2001, Murphy oversaw the expansion of the emergency department wing, which included the construction of Thomas and Claire Brodesser Jr. Cancer Center.
For Murphy, who was diagnosed with lung cancer, the new treatment option was welcome news.
“I wanted to be the first patient treated with the new technology,” Murphy said.
Murphy will receive three stereotactic body radiation therapy treatments, said Theresa Netz, nurse director of radiation oncology treatments, instead of 30 treatments offered at a facility some two hours away.
According to the hospital, TrueBeam delivers highly accurate image-guided radiosurgery treatments in a few minutes per day. A complex treatment that typically takes 30 to 60 minutes can be completed in 5 to 20 minutes. This is important as independent studies have shown that with faster treatments there is less time for tumor and patient movement, said hospital officials.
Image guidance tools generate 3-D anatomical images 60 percent faster, using 25 percent less radiation dose. Tumors and other abnormalities are targeted with accuracy of less than a millimeter. Even tumors that move when a patient breathes – for example, those in the prostate, lung or breast – can be precisely targeted due to special tools that compensate for motion throughout treatment, according to the hospital.
For information about cancer care at Cape Regional Medical Center, call 609-463-2059 or see www.caperegional.com.