Sr. Caritas Cancer Center Offers Advanced Radiation Treatment

SPRINGFIELD — Mercy Medical Center’s Sr. Caritas Cancer Center has long been recognized for providing high-quality, comprehensive care with a compassionate touch. Now, the center has expanded its treatment options to include a highly advanced radiation-treatment system. Elekta Infinity reduces the time required for radiotherapy sessions to no more than five minutes, while giving clinicians the ability to treat targets more aggressively than ever before.

“The Sr. Caritas Cancer Center strives for excellence in providing quality care to cancer patients. With the acquisition of the Elekta Infinity technology, our team of professionals has access to the most advanced radiation treatment option, assuring the best possible outcome for our patients,” said Dr. Catherine Carton, medical director of the cancer center and chairperson of the Cancer Program.

Elekta Infinity incorporates Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT), an innovative way to deliver radiation treatments that is a significant improvement over current approaches. With Elekta’s VMAT technology, the target area is continuously irradiated while the source of the beam rotates around the patient.

Clinicians using Elekta Infinity can create a dose that conforms very tightly to the target area in significantly less time than with conventional techniques. Elekta VMAT achieves this with sophisticated computer programming that simultaneously controls five different system components, and a treatment session typically can be conducted in five minutes or less, including true 3D imaging at the time and place of treatment.

To determine the precise location of tumors and normal surrounding tissues, traditional radiotherapy calls for imaging studies to be done several days before treatment. With Elekta Infinity, imaging can take place at the time and place of treatment without slowing down the treatment process.

“In addition to improving accuracy, Elekta Infinity’s low-dose imaging capability helps minimize the side effects of radiation therapy by reducing the margins previously set to account for uncertainties or target dimensions, location, and movement,” said Carton. “For patients, this means the higher doses of radiation can be delivered directly to tumors and cancer cells, with minimal exposure to healthy tissue.”

The Sr. Caritas Cancer Center is a recipient of the prestigious Outstanding Achievement Award from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons. This national award recognizes cancer programs that strive for excellence in providing quality care to cancer patients.