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Radiation treatment options for cancer

Thanks to new 3D imaging technology, known as AlignRT, the radiation oncology team at Cone Health Cancer Center is able to move patients into the most precise treatment position, as well as monitor them throughout the course of the radiation session to make sure they stay in the correct position.

Through the combination of using advanced radiation technology, such as the TrueBeam linear accelerator, and AlignRT, the precision of radiation delivered to the cancerous mass, while sparing surrounding, healthy tissue, is taking the accuracy of radiation treatment to a whole new level.

When delivering radiation for breast cancer cases, the area that needs to be treated can be especially close to the heart.

Utilizing the advanced imaging capabilities of AlignRT, the Cancer Center’s radiation oncology team has been able to begin treating breast cancer patients with what is referred to as ‘breath-hold treatment.’

This treatment method helps create distance between the breasts and the heart to avoid delivering any radiation to the heart.

In addition to improving radiation treatment precision, the exceptional team of physicists at Cone Health Cancer Center has invented additional ways to utilize AlignRT to improve patient care.

The team has discovered that the surface images gathered by AlignRT can actually be used to identify specific patients; something this technology has never been used for in the past.

Additionally, the team is using AlignRT to allow head and neck cancer patients to be treated without using the full face masks that have been traditionally used to keep the head in the correct position for treatment.

Being diagnosed with cancer is never a positive experience; however, with the ongoing research and advancements in the field of radiation therapy, as well as other oncology-related fields, patients’ quality of life will continue to drastically improve during and after treatment.

Spokesperson Background:
Dr. Benjamin “BJ” Sintay is the chief physicist at the radiation oncology department at Cone Health Cancer Center.

Dr. Sintay received a Bachelor of Science in both electrical and computer engineering from North Carolina State University in 2004.

He received a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Wake Forest University in 2008. Dr. Sintay is board certified in Therapeutic Medical Physics by the American Board of Radiology, and has been with Cone Health since 2009.