New radiation technology reduces treatment time for cancer patients

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) – UAB's Department of Radiation Oncology will soon be treating cancer patients in a much quicker manner.

The Hazelrig-Salter Radiation Oncology Center at UAB is the third site in the nation to acquire a technology called TrueBeam that can complete a standard radiation therapy in less than a minute for certain patients. A standard therapy tends to take around 40 minutes.

The precision for the TrueBeam technology comes from real-time patient imaging, positioning, beam shaping and other data that synchronizes continually as the treatment progresses.

"This technology gives us the tools we need to shrink the number of treatment visits for some patients from weeks to days," says James A. Bonner, M.D., chair of UAB's Department of Radiation Oncology and a senior advisor at the Cancer Center. "Patients coming to UAB can expect leading-edge care with more options for fighting cancer and, hopefully, improved chances for survival."
TrueBeam can be used on tumors anywhere in the body where radiation is required. Patients with challenging cancers like lung, breast, abdomen and head and neck cancers can expect an improved quality of life with the treatment. As the technology is new, long-term outcomes have not been determined.

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