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St. Mary Medical Center Takes New Aim at Fighting Cancer
Regional provider offers advanced frameless stereotactic radiosurgery.

LANGHORNE, Pa., September 25, 2009 – For patients diagnosed with a brain tumor, St. Mary Medical Center is among the first in the region to offer Frameless Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) as a breakthrough treatment to fight cancer. Frameless Stereotactic Radiosurgery is a one-time application of a large-dose radiation precisely targeting a tumor.

SRS allows a highly qualified team of cancer specialists to treat a tumor without anesthesia, accompanied by no pain or bleeding, while requiring minimal recovery time. The goal of SRS is to destroy the target tumor without open surgery and without harming nearby healthy tissue. SRS uses focused high-energy radiation beams to destroy tumors by damaging the tumor cells.

Traditional methods for delivering SRS required an invasive frame that was screwed into the patient’s skull bone. Today, new technology known as Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) has been introduced to allow for the more comfortable frameless SRS. A GPS-type tracking system uses high-resolution X-rays to pinpoint tumors, automatically correcting any inaccuracies in positioning.

St. Mary Regional Cancer Center is among the first cancer treatment facilities in the Delaware Valley area to utilize this frameless technology. Dr. Robert Cardinale, Medical Director of Radiation Oncology at St. Mary, comments, “Because nothing is affixed to the patient’s head, the patient feels no discomfort and can return to normal life activities almost immediately following the procedure. This new technology expands our comprehensive range of services and demonstrates the St. Mary commitment to having the most advanced treatments available to our patients.”

Neurosurgeon Dr. Nirav Shah adds, “In using the most minimally invasive techniques available, we offer our patients the opportunity for the best outcome while reducing the risks of the procedure and hastening recovery time. The way frameless SRS allows us to track possible motion throughout treatment and realign targeting during the treatment is a true breakthrough in patient care. We now can be certain that treatment is delivered precisely to the target throughout the entire procedure, giving us the confidence to safely deliver our treatment doses.”

Frameless SRS is considered the next generation of treatment in cancer care. SRS has applications beyond the brain, and radiation oncologists at St. Mary are treating a wide range of tumor sites including prostate, lung, liver, and spine. The St. Mary team is dedicated to offering advanced technology along with clinical expertise to treat even the most complex cases.

In Bucks County, cancer is the second leading cause of illness and mortality, and receiving this diagnosis can be devastating to anyone. St. Mary Medical Center continues to be at the forefront of combining advanced technology with compassionate, expert care to provide breakthrough treatment options and advanced technology to meet the growing needs of the community.