Patients getting new, faster radiation treatment
Cancer treatment shortened from weeks to days
The Cancer Treatment Centre at Charlottetown's Queen Elizabeth Hospital is treating an increasing number of patients with new, quicker radiation therapy.
Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy, or SBRT, uses higher doses of radiation to treat a more precise area than conventional radiation therapy. Instead of taking several weeks, patients can finish their treatment in days.
Radiation oncologist Dr. Larry Pan said in the last two years, close to 50 patients have been treated with the technique, including a few from off-Island.
"SBRT is usually suited for smaller sized tumours where we can deliver a very high dose of radiation precisely at the tumour and minimize dose to the surrounding normal tissues," said Pan.
The therapy has a very good success rate and few side effects, said Pan.
The centre is currently using SBRT mainly to treat early stage lung cancer. Pan said a wider range of cancers could be treated with SBRT, but more resources would be needed.