More than a decade ago, Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, began offering tomotherapy — image-guided radiation therapy.
On March 9, the health center announced a new tomotherapy suite with significantly upgraded equipment to provide advanced radiation therapy in a calming environment.
The Radixact tomotherapy system allows for more precise cancer treatment by combining radiation treatment with computed tomography scans to capture the exact location of a tumor, which can then be targeted with cancer-destroying radiation beams. It allows radiation oncologists to review the patient’s anatomy in real time and then deliver stronger, higher doses in fewer sessions without increasing damage to healthy tissue, the medical center said in the announcement.
“Utilizing tomotherapy, we can optimally deliver doses to the cancer but minimal radiation to normal tissues around it,” RWJBarnabas radiation oncologist Dr. Sang Sim in a statement. “Each patient has their own individualized treatment plan that defines how the machine delivers radiation to treat their cancer.”
The end result is better targeting of the cancer and minimized short- and long-term side effects.
“Normally, we make a plan and treat the patient with that plan,” said Dr. Mitchell Weiss, chair of radiation oncology at the center and a member of RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group. “The new unit now allows us to also review the anatomy — both healthy tissue and tumor — while the patient is on the table and in minutes adjust the plan if the anatomy has changed in any way.”
In addition, the new unit features calming décor that includes small ceiling to mimic a relaxing, starry night sky.