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New radiation therapy offered

Fewer treatments, less impact on healthy tissue

Stereotactic Ablative Body Radiotherapy uses doses of radiation six times stronger than traditional radiation therapy delivered with pinpoint accuracy to the site of the tumour with less impact on surrounding healthy tissue.

Some lung cancer patients may get better outcomes with far fewer treatments, thanks to a revolutionary new form of radiation therapy that has been introduced to the Northeast Cancer Centre at Health Sciences North (HSN).

The new treatment is called Stereotactic Ablative Body Radiotherapy (SABR). SABR uses doses of radiation six times stronger than traditional radiation therapy delivered with pinpoint accuracy to the site of the tumour with less impact on surrounding healthy tissue.

As a result of SABR, cancer patients can complete their radiation therapy in as few as four treatments, compared to over 30, with potentially better results.

“SABR focuses and controls cancer well,” said Dr. Andrew Pearce, a radiation oncologist at the Northeast Cancer Centre. “This treatment achieves similar results to surgery. However, it involves no anesthetics, involves as little as four treatments, and is an accelerated approach with minimal side effects. So it’s of tremendous benefit to the patients who receive it.”

The Northeast Cancer Centre is currently using SABR to treat patients with certain lung cancers. In the future, the Northeast Cancer Centre is planning to treat other forms of cancer with SABR.

The Northeast Cancer Centre is one of the first cancer care centres in Ontario to provide SABR treatment.

“As the main cancer care centre for northeastern Ontario, we are always looking to adopt innovative, effective new approaches to health care,” said Mark Hartman, vice-president of diagnostic imaging and cancer services at HSN. “The introduction of SABR at the Northeast Cancer Centre demonstrates our commitment to provide our patients with the best, most effective, patient-centred care.

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