TomoTherapy for Prostate Cancer: Joe Rosenthal
Joe Rosenthal of Davenport had yet to be diagnosed with prostate cancer when he read that the next generation of radiation technology would be coming to Genesis. He never expected to be the first to use it.
After his cancer diagnosis, however, Joe, 82, remembered reading about the TomoTherapy High-Art treatment system. He asked his radiation oncologist, Thomas Stoffel, M.D., if the new Smart Care cancer-fighting technology could work for him.
"I liked the sound of being able to zero right in on the site of the cancer without affecting the tissue around it," says Joe, who has early-stage prostate cancer. "I mentioned the Tomo machine to Dr. Stoffel during my examination. He said, 'How would you like to be our first patient?' "
Targeted Radiation Treatment
"TomoTherapy is a new way of delivering radiation therapy," explains Dr. Stoffel of Quint-Cities Radiation Oncology Ltd., who practices with radiation oncologists Christine Sharis, M.D., and Antonio Vigliotti, M.D.
"The technique utilizes a linear accelerator mounted on a CT scanner. The advantage is it allows you to treat from multiple treatment angles, with a very high degree of precision and with sharper margins. You are able to construct a field that is very much structured around the tumor volume. With TomoTherapy, we can better target the diseased area and spare more normal tissue."
Joe's TomoTherapy Treatment
A believer in divine intervention, Joe thought, "Here the Lord has made it so this great technology has come to a hospital near me. Sure, why not take advantage of it?"
Joe had TomoTherapy five days a week, receiving a total of 43 treatments over eight weeks. Each treatment delivered a precise, painless dose of radiation for 232 seconds, or just less than 4 minutes. Clinicians took a CT scan before each treatment to verify the position of the tumor and adjust Joe's position to make sure radiation was directed exactly where it should be.
That's important because sparing healthy tissue can translate into fewer short-term and long-term side effects of treatment, says Sally Werner, Director of the Genesis Cancer Care Institute. "Prostate cancer treatment goes very close to the kidneys and gastrointestinal tract and can affect long-term function." In addition to prostate cancer, TomoTherapy is an effective treatment option for other cancers, including brain and spine tumors.