Revolutionary Machine at Hahne
Regional Cancer Center
March 3, 2014
DuBOIS - Penn Highlands Healthcare announced today
that it has made a significant investment toward improving cancer care for its
patients. Hahne Regional Cancer Center has acquired the TrueBeam system, an
innovative system that enables a radically different approach to treating
cancer with image-guided radiotherapy.
Hahne is a service of Penn Highlands DuBois, formerly
DuBois Regional Medical Center, and provides oncology services for the four
affiliate hospitals of Penn Highlands Healthcare in Brookville, Clearfield,
DuBois and St. Marys.
The TrueBeam system, from Varian Medical Systems,
was engineered to deliver more powerful cancer treatments with pinpoint
accuracy and precision. It uniquely integrates new imaging and motion
management technologies that make it possible to deliver treatments more
quickly while monitoring and compensating for tumor motion. The new equipment,
currently being installed at Hahne, opens the door to new possibilities for the
treatment of lung, breast, prostate, head and neck, as well as other cancers
that are treatable with radiotherapy. It will be operational in early March.
Radiation therapy patients receiving treatments at
Hahne are currently being transported to the Nathaniel D. Yingling M.D. Cancer
Center in Clearfield. The Yingling center is also an affiliate of Penn
Highlands Healthcare. Medical oncology patients, such as those receiving
chemotherapy, at both centers will not be affected by these changes.
amazing the advancements we've made in radiation therapy over the last
decade," Penn Highlands Radiation Oncologist Albert Lee, MD, said. "The
investment that Penn Highlands has made in the new system will add another
important weapon in our fight against cancer at Hahne. TrueBeam is a real
game-changer that will enable us to treat even the most challenging cases with
unprecedented speed and precision.”
With dose delivery rates that are 40–140 percent
higher than earlier technology, the TrueBeam system can complete a treatment much
faster. This makes it possible to offer greater patient comfort by shortening
treatments and to improve precision by leaving less time for tumor motion
during dose delivery. “Intelligent” automation also reduces the number of steps
needed for image guidance and dose delivery, which also greatly increases the
speed of the treatment.
Simple treatments that once took 15 minutes or more
can be completed in less than two minutes once the patient is in position.
“These are significant reductions in treatment time,” said Lee. "Patients
will spend a whole lot less time lying still, immobilized on a hard surface.”
The precision of the new system at Hahne is
measured in increments of less than a millimeter. This accuracy is made
possible by the system’s sophisticated construction, which synchronizes
imaging, patient positioning, motion management, beam shaping and dose delivery.
The system also performs accuracy checks every ten milliseconds throughout the
entire treatment where critical points are measured
continually as a treatment progresses. This ensures that the system
maintains the appropriate focal point of treatment at all times.
The machine quickly delivers the dose while
maintaining a continuous rotation around the patient. Hahne experts expect this
new therapy system to make a meaningful difference for patients in the area.
Imaging at Lower Doses
The new imaging technology being installed at Hahne
can also produce the three-dimensional images used to fine-tune the treatment
plan in 60 percent less time. Another function of this technology makes it
possible to create images using 25 percent less x-ray dose for the patient.
an essential part of modern-day, targeted radiation therapy,” explained Lee.
“This machine allows us to choose a way to take the needed images that can minimize
the amount of x-rays needed to generate that image - and that’s good for our
"We can select the optimal treatment for every
type of cancer,” said Lee. “This is a breakthrough that lets us bring a wider
spectrum of advanced treatment options to many more patients. It represents a
quantum leap in our ability to help people fight cancer.”
All of the amenities that
Hahne patients receive during their treatments will remain a top priority for
the staff. Because Hahne is located at the Penn Highlands DuBois campus,
patients are able to take advantage of any on-site service such as nutrition
counselling and pastoral care. Hospital sponsored door-to-door transportation
service is also available free to patients who have no other means of
transportation and choose to receive care at the center.
"We are always looking to improve the way we
provide care at Penn Highlands," Laura Adams, director of both Penn
Highlands' cancer centers, said. "I am so proud that Hahne now has this advanced
equipment so we can better serve the patients of this region and help them take
on cancer in the best way possible."