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Monongahela Valley Hospital Is the First and Only Hospital in Southwestern PA to Offer Latest Radiation Therapy

(November 25, 2013 - Carroll Township, Pa.)

Some people who have been diagnosed with cancer will travel hundreds of miles from their homes for the latest treatments. People in western Pennsylvania have access to one of the latest therapies at Monongahela Valley Hospital's (MVH) Charles L. and Rose Sweeney Melenyzer Pavilion and Regional Cancer Center, in Carroll Township. MVH is the first and only hospital in western Pennsylvania that offers radiation therapy treatments using the new Elekta Agility that includes a multi-leaf collimator (MLC) device that provides precise, high-resolution beam shaping to target tumors. Use of the MLC device enables medical professionals at MVH to administer higher doses of radiation at multiple sites simultaneously. It delivers radiation to the unique contours of the tumor while reducing the risk of exposure to healthy tissue.

"Our new MLC, with a groundbreaking design which features leaf speeds that are twice as fast as conventional beam shaping devices, enables the radiation oncology team at MVH to offer a new level of conformance to tumor targets for rapid, accurate patient treatments," said Mohsen Isaac, M.D., MVH's director, Radiation Oncology and clinical assistant professor at Temple University School of Medicine.

An MLC is a device composed of many individual tungsten "leaves" that shape beams of therapeutic radiation that are delivered from different angles around the patient. The Agility is equipped with 160 MLCs which is twice the number of leaves used in most typical treatment centers. It also includes ultra-fast leaf movements.

"While our new MLC includes twice the number of leaves and is twice as fast, it reduces treatment times by more than half," said Dr. Isaac. "Patients are not only treated faster, but more importantly, they benefit from the MLC's enhanced targeting capabilities which improve treatment outcomes and reduce organ at risk (OAR) potential complications. Additionally, shorter treatment times result in increased patient comfort and convenience. It also allows faster and safer Stereotactic Brain Radiosurgery, Stereotactic Body Radiosurgery and Volumetric Arc Therapy (VMAT)."

At MVH, skilled oncologists, surgeons, nurses, radiation therapists, social workers, nutritionists, pharmacists and case management coordinators help patients win the battle against cancer using advanced technology with a personalized approach. In addition to the Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT), MVH offers:

  • High-Dose Rate Radiation Therapy (HDR) - a form of brachytherapy or internal radiation therapy which involves the placement of a high-energy radiation source inside the body near the tumor for brief periods of time
  • Volumetric Arc Therapy (VMAT) - a therapy that uses single or multiple radiation beams to sweep in uninterrupted arcs around the patient to speed treatment delivery and reduce treatment times
  • 4-D Imaging - one of the latest advances in cancer therapy, this process using 4-D CT to capture the image of the tumor, its movement and the movement of the body's organs to accurately treat tumors located on or near organs that move
  • Stereotactic Brain Radiosurgery - used in the treatment of brain and spinal tumors as well as brain metastases
  • Stereotactic Body Radiosurgery - used for small isolated tumors that lie outside the brain such as inoperable early lung tumors with excellent results
MVH's Cancer Program which includes medical oncology, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, diagnostic radiology and surgical services, is accredited by the American College of Surgeon's Commission on Cancer.

For more information, call 724-258-3040.

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