Goshen Center for Cancer Care first in state to use new technology to deliver radiation

GOSHEN, Ind. - As the treatment of cancer through radiation changes - higher doses of radiation delivered to pinpoint locations to target the cancer - the need for tools to measure that precision is becoming greater.

Today, (Sept. 15, 2009) Goshen Center for Cancer Care and James Wheeler, MD, PhD, Director of Radiation Oncology, became the first cancer center and oncologist in Indiana to implement a new technology that measures the dosage of radiation directly from the tumor site.

This new technology, called DVS® or Dose Verification System, is an implantable dosimeter that allows doctors to measure the precise amount of radiation delivered to tumors and surrounding tissue. Developed by Sicel Technologies, Inc, the device is the first of its kind launched in the United States. This small thin capsule - about the length of a dime - can typically be inserted inside the patient in less than 15 minutes.

After each radiation treatment, the DVS sensor provides the physician with a measurement of the actual amount of radiation hitting the target - the tumor or area from which a tumor has been removed. This allows the physician to make any necessary adjustments to the prescribed dose during the radiation therapy treatment course, allowing even more precision. The DVS sensor wirelessly transmits data to a hand-held monitor, giving the doctor immediate feedback during each radiation treatment.

"In the past, radiation was delivered to larger areas and the need for accuracy was not as great. As technology advances and we become more precise - pinpointing the exact location where the radiation is needed it is becoming necessary to develop better monitoring techniques," Wheeler said. "While we have very sophisticated technology that tells us the exact location of the tumor and the dosage we want to give, this new technology gives us even more accuracy - a way to measure the radiation dose directly at the tumor site."

Goshen Center for Cancer Care is initially using the DVS technology in the treatment of prostate cancer. DVS has been FDA-approved in the treatment of prostate and breast cancer, and is currently seeking FDA-approval in the treatment of other cancers as well.

Being the first cancer center in Indiana to implement DVS is a reflection of Goshen Center for Cancer Care's commitment to rapidly implement advances as they become available, said Wheeler.

"We are bringing patients the most technically advanced care available in 2009," he said. "We are never satisfied with just standing still, content to do things the same way they have always been done. We are always looking for improvements that can take us even further in the fight against cancer."

About Goshen Center for Cancer Care:

The Goshen Center for Cancer Care is a leader in innovative cancer treatment. They were among the first to adopt a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to cancer treatment. They offer holistic programs for strengthening minds as well as bodies, place a premium on family involvement and spiritual needs, and encourage patients to play a decision-making role in treatment selection. Through this integrative team approach, the center provides medical, radiation, nuclear and surgical oncology as well as naturopathic medicine.

The Goshen Center for Cancer Care is involved in, and sponsors, a number of clinical trials. Additionally, prevention, screening, diagnostic and treatment trials are conducted at the Goshen Center for Cancer Care, as well as quality of life trials and genetic trials. Clinical trials offered include treatments for breast cancer, colon cancer, Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, lung cancer, esophageal cancer, head and neck cancer, liver cancer, melanoma, myeloma, prostate cancer and pancreatic cancer. To find out more about the Goshen Center for Cancer Care or Goshen Health System visitwww.goshencancer.org.

About Goshen Health System

Goshen Health System is a not-for-profit provider of health care that includes Goshen General Hospital, The Goshen Center for Cancer Care, Park Home Medical Equipment, PrimeCare Physician Network, Team:Bariatrics, The Retreat Women's Health Center and Indiana Lakes Managed Care Organization. The health system is an affiliate partner of Clarian Health. For more information about Goshen Health System, contact Bridget Levitz, Public Relations Coordinator at 574.535.2776 or visit www.goshenhealth.org.