RWJBarnabas Health was the first to introduce TomoTherapy to New Jersey.
TomoTherapy is a revolutionary type of radiation to treat cancer with.
This advanced and integrated cancer treatment system benefits patients
by locating tumors before treatment, delivering precise treatment to the
tumors using rotating beamlets and minimizing damage to healthy tissue.
TomoTherapy is the first system to integrate and automate radiation therapy
from the location of the tumor to the delivery of the beams themselves.
As a result, this breakthrough system is giving new options to patients
with head, neck and prostate cancers, as well as other cancers near vital
areas of the body, such as the heart.
To locate the tumor, TomoTherapy uses 3-D imaging from computerized tomography
(CT scanning), which gives physicians the ability to confirm its shape
and position before therapy begins. Image-guided patient positioning and
treatment delivery are all accomplished using one piece of equipment that
looks much like a standard CT system. Lying on a treatment table, the
patient passes through a rotating ring, where the radiation beam makes
a spiral pattern around him or her. The tumor receives optimal levels
of radiation while doses to healthy tissue are minimized. Because the
TomoTherapy machine rotates completely around the patient, the cancer
can be treated from any angle, delivering radiation beams that are precisely
shaped to the tumor. As a result, higher doses of radiation can be delivered
to the tumor, limiting exposure to surrounding normal tissue and increasing
the potential for decreased side effects and better cure rates. The complete
procedure takes only 15 to 20 minutes. Additional information on TomoTherapy,
is available from the
National Cancer Institute,
National Comprehensive Cancer Network and
American Cancer Society.