In October, the Santa Fe New Mexican ran a
special guide on cancer services. The LMC Cancer Center was included. Click here to view the original article.
Albuquerque-based Lovelace Medical Center announced that it spent $11 million
in 2011 on state-of-the-art equipment to make treatment more efficient and, in
some cases, faster for patients. According to Lovelace, the new equipment
represents the most advanced radiation oncology technology for its patients.
The purchases include two linear accelerators and four-dimensional computed
tomography (4-D CT).
Clinicians use 4-D CT to take images that capture the location of a patient’s
tumor, including its movement. The machine creates a virtual image that
corresponds to where the tumor is located in the body at any time so it gives
radiation oncologists a way to plan treatment as precisely as possible.
According to Lovelace, its TomoHD system can produce an image and treat common
and complex tumors. The cancer center uses it to treat breast, prostate, lung
and head and neck cancers. The system allows the radiation oncologist to
deliver higher doses with less damage to surrounding tissue. Linear
accelerators can also treat tumors with the great precision and are ideal for
surface tumors, such as breast and skin cancers.
For brain tumors, the Center’s Gamma Knife Perfexion machine can treat multiple
tumors in one two-hour treatment. This means patients can avoid receiving
radiation to the entire brain, which can sometimes result in a loss of brain
function. Lovelace has offered gamma knife treatments since 2003 and upgraded
to the Gamma Knife Perfexion in August 2011.