Safer Oncology Treatments

Oncology patients are receiving shorter, more accurate radiation treatments thanks to a newly installed, advanced radiation therapy system at St. Joseph's/Candler's affiliate, Savannah Oncology Center. This fall, the Savannah Oncology Center expanded its radiation therapy program with new equipment to provide patients with a shorter therapy time and a more accurate, therefore safer, treatment.

Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Savannah Oncology Center's expansion to its radiation therapy program includes a new linear accelerator, the machine that uses high-energy radiation to treat cancer, and advanced imaging applications that work with the linear accelerator to automate and better organize the oncologist's workflow.

Manufactured by Siemens Medical Solutions, one of the world's largest manufacturers of radiotherapy systems, The Oncor linear accelerator works in tandem with the Coherence Workspaces imaging application to automate the process of radiation therapy. This automation lets the radiation therapist pinpoint the beams of radiation toward their targets for a more accurate treatment and minimal exposure to healthy tissue.
Morris Geffen, MD, Medical Director at Savannah Oncology Center, said the improved system will increase the accuracy of radiation therapy.
"The Siemens ONCOR Linear accelerator and COHERENCE Workspace employ leading edge technology to provide a level of automation, accuracy and user efficiency," Dr. Geffen said.

John Pablo, MD, partner at Savannah Oncology Center, said the patients' treatments will be more consistent and reproducible, which will improve patient outcomes.  "These improvements enable users of the system to work more efficiently in delivering radiation treatments to patients allowing staff to spend more time with patients," Dr. Pablo said.

More importantly, patients' treatments will be more consistent and reproducible, improving patient outcomes, Dr. Geffen said.
In addition to the new system, Savannah Oncology Center has also been selected by Siemens to collaborate on new technologies in the community practice setting.  Siemens has consulted with more than 100 radiation therapy professionals from around the world to design a system that meets today's radiation treatment needs.

Savannah Oncology Center will focus on Adaptive Radiotherapy, which is aimed at providing the oncologist with the capability to review and revise a patient's treatment progress while the patient is receiving the treatment.  "Adaptive Radiotherapy should improve the long term success of treatment for our patients and we are excited to be selected as a collaborator in this project," Dr. Geffen said.