New precision cancer fighting technology unveiled

The future of cancer treatment has arrived. Varian, the world’s leader in producing radiation oncology equipment, has manufactured a new linear accelerator called the “VitalBeam” and Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, located at 7154 Medical Center Dr. Spring Hill 34608, is the first in the area to obtain this impressive new technology. On Thursday, August 17, 2017, they held an Open House to introduce our community to the Varian VitalBeam Linear Accelerator.

Florida Cancer Specialists CEO, Brad Prechtl, says, “It’s the latest and greatest in terms of technology… In terms of accuracy, how radiation is delivered to the patient and treatment time. The amount of time a patient lays on the table is reduced significantly.”

With this machine, physicians can precisely target each tumor and customize radiation treatment for each patient. It increases the types of radiation therapy that can be provided and delivers maximum dose distribution to the tumor, while sparing adjacent healthy tissues. The physicians of Florida Cancer Specialists are dedicated to making the investments in technology to bring the cure closer to home for our community.  They strive to bring world class care closer to home.

Dr. Vikas Malhotra gives this analogy,  “Varian Vitalbeam is like a smartphone in the age of flip phones. You can still talk on a flip phone and have a great conversation but they don’t do any of the other fancy things that a smart phone will do.

They have so much more added on. The core business is still the same of delivering radiation to a part of the body we want to treat but they do it with much more precision.

We can deliver it in many more variations. We can have it delivered very precisely to exactly within a millimeter of the tumor so the side effects are a lot less. Much less toxicity, much less time. Would you ever want to go back to a flip phone after using a smartphone?” He explains that the older machine they have is still good at basic functions- treating skin lesions, bone lesions, et cetera, however when doing very precise forms of radiation to the head and neck, or a specific region of the lung, the Varian Vitalbeam is better. It provides “convenience, comfort, and cure.”

Dr. Larry Gandle, radiation oncologist at Florida Cancer Specialists stated, “I’ve been here almost 20 years and the advancement in technology is incredible. I know it will provide us the opportunity to increase the amount of treatments in the area.”

Just a year ago,  Florida Cancer Specialists added a Siemens PET/CT 20 slice Scanner to their facility in Hernando County.  The CT scanner provides “next-generation” imaging technology and allows Florida Cancer Specialists to perform scans faster for the patient with less artifacts created by movement of the patient or from breathing.

With these new additions, the Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute is definitely achieving their goal of providing “the most advanced cancer treatment in a setting where patients can be close to home and surrounded by family and friends.”

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Original Author: Michelle Elizabeth Salazar