STEREOTACTIC RADIATION COMES TO SPOTSYLVANIA REGIONAL CANCER CENTER

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Varian TrueBeam high energy linear accelerator

Stereotactic radiation is a highly precise form of radiation treatment used to treat very small lesions in the body. Stereotactic Radiosurgery, or SRS, refers to such treatment within the brain. Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy, or SBRT, is the term used to describe treatment of extracranial sites. In either case, small targets in the body are identified and localized.These targets may be actual small tumors or anatomic abnormalities. Treatments are usually done on an out-patient basis and can be performed in less than an hour.  Stereotactic treatment is considered when a patient has a very small lesion but is not a candidate for other treatments such as surgery because of hard to reach location, medical contraindication, or even patient preference. Other indications include tumors located close to other very sensitive tissue, such as the spine, optic chiasm, kidney or bowel, which must be avoided. Patients who have undergone previous treatments may also be appropriate candidates for stereotactic treatment.

Patients need to be evaluated to determine if they are suitable candidates for stereotactic radiation. Treatment sites must be clearly identifiable. Sometimes, a metallic marker is placed in or near the treatment site to assist in localization. Some lesions may actually move as the patient breathes, and these require special treatment techniques. Some patients require stabilization in place so they do not move during their treatment. It is possible to treat more than one site, but there are limits to how many lesions may be treated in a single sitting. The radiation oncologist works together with a radiation dosimetrist and radiation physicist to plan the details of treatment. On the actual day of treatment, the patient is prepared and positioned. A dry run is performed to be sure that the treatment plan is being precisely followed and that there been no changes in the tumor or the patient. If the treatment parameters are met, the physician gives his approval and the treatment is delivered. Since most treatments do not require anesthesia, there is no need for hospitalization or recovery. Patients go home that same day. More than one treatment may be required, but usually no more than 5.

Porrazzo,Michael sm

Dr. Michael Porrazzo, Director of Radiation Oncology

Stereotactic radiation provides a precision treatment with curative potential for many patients, and another chance at tumor control for patients who have undergone prior treatment and are not candidates for additional traditional treatment. SBRT is now available at Spotsylvania Regional Cancer Center.  For more information, call: 540-498-4084 or visit spotsrmc.com/service/cancer-care.

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