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Published on February 16, 2017

Cutting-edge cancer treatment delivered close to home

Gundersen Health System's Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders prides itself on offering cutting-edge treatments—treatments that are helping people with cancer live longer lives.

John Wochos

John Wochos

They recently became one of the first sites in North America to have a fully integrated radiation oncology system that combines ExacTrac® patient position monitoring (by Brainlab) with the PerfectPitchTM 6 degrees of freedom couch (by Varian). These technologies work in tandem to deliver highly efficient positioning and treatment accuracy for cancer patients.

"We have a long history of using the ExacTrac image-guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery system and are fortunate that the makers of ExacTrac and our newest linear accelerator have collaborated to allow this integration. Now patients can experience the greatest benefits of both systems," states John Wochos, senior physicist, Gundersen Radiation Oncology.

ExacTrac, an X-ray based monitoring system, detects patient motion and internal bodily movement during radiation treatment, while PerfectPitch uses advanced robotics to accurately set up and position patients for treatment. Integrating these technologies means patients receive highly accurate treatments in less time than other methods.

When a patient is treated for radiation oncology, they must first undergo what is called a "planning CT scan." Then every day the patient receives treatment—which lasts between one and 40 days—the radiation oncology team must ensure the patient is in that exact same position. "This integrated technology helps our radiation therapists make that alignment much more quickly and much more precisely. For patients, that means comfortable and fast treatments," explains John.

Fast delivery also allows for reduced chances of tumor motion during treatment, which ensures the cancer cells are destroyed and surrounding healthy tissues are protected.

Gundersen uses ExacTrac and PerfectPitch to treat complex cancers in areas such as the head and neck, brain, lung, breast, liver, abdomen, pelvis and the extremities.

To refer a patient, contact the Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders via Gundersen MedLink at (800) 336-5465. To learn about the latest radiation oncology techniques offered by the Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders, visit gundersenhealth.org/cancer.

fully integrated radiation oncology system

Gundersen's fully integrated radiation oncology system combines ExacTrac® patient position monitoring with the PerfectPitchTM 6 degrees of freedom couch for highly efficient positioning and treatment accuracy.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System delivers great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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