Manatee Cancer Center adds advanced radiation therapy modalities
BRADENTON—After bringing IMRT (intensity-modulated radiation therapy) to the Manatee area several years ago, Manatee Cancer Center recently brought in IGRT (image-guided radiation therapy) with the installation of the Siemens Artiste that allows doctors to “see” the tumors as they move internally from day to day, and reposition the radiation beams as often as necessary, therefore avoiding the use of wider-than-needed beams.
The latest advanced radiation therapy approach minimizes toxicity to healthy tissue by delivering highly precise doses of radiation, benefitting patients with fewer and less severe side effects and quicker recovery times.
“As a founding member and having practiced in the area for over 30 years, I’ve always wanted to bring better forms of cancer treatment to our community, the most advanced technology that can be administered locally so our patients don’t have to travel far to get best-in-class cancer treatment,” said radiation oncologist Tri Nguyen, MD, who earned a medical degree from the Medical School of the University of Saigon (South Vietnam), completed radiation therapy residency training at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1979, and relocated to Bradenton to head the radiation oncology department at Blake Medical Center.
Radiation oncologists Mary Koshy, MD, and Cornelius Turalba, MD, are also partners at Manatee Cancer Center, a member of the Florida Cancer Physicians Network (FCPN), one of the largest networks in the state.
“Over my years of practice, I’ve witnessed many changes in cancer treatment,” said Nguyen. “Many technologies have come and stayed; others have gone by the wayside for lack of sustained efficacy. Radiation has been used against cancer for over half a century, but I must say the stellar steps forward have been with the advent of computerization. The most recognizable benefits have been seen with IMRT, and more recently, IGRT. With these technologies, we can target cancers so much more accurately. The high degree of precision so achieved allows us to better able avoid normal tissues and deliver higher killing doses to the cancer.”
This year, Manatee Cancer Center also began providing SRS (stereotactic radiosurgery), a non-invasive treatment that uses pencil-slim beams of radiation generated by a specially modified linear accelerator to treat tumors safely, effectively, and without incisions. Virtually painless and frameless, SRS is performed on an outpatient basis without many of the usual risks and side effects associated with surgery.
In addition to delivering radiation with such spatial precision that specialists are able to give highly focused treatment of small brain tumors that are just a few centimeters in size, this method also significantly reduces the number sessions that patients must endure – from the typical 4-7 weeks of daily conventional treatments to only 3-5 sessions. “Its effect is tantamount to cutting out the tumor without actual surgery or need for anesthesia,” explained Nguyen.
“Again, patients may only need a few treatment sessions versus the typical 4-6 weeks of daily treatments,” said Nguyen. “I’m proud our team provides top quality cancer care with the latest advancements of modern medicine. There’s no reason for an oncologist to refer patients outside the area to receive the best cancer care right here at home in Manatee County, not only concerning the latest technology, but also providing emotional and physiological support to cancer patients.”