Health System Celebrates 100th "Treatment of Hope"

By: Jummy Olabanji Email
By: Jummy Olabanji Email

September 10, 2007

The University of Virginia Health System recently celebrated its 100th treatment of hope for cancer patients.

For the past two years its helped 100 patients try to beat cancer.

One of those patients, Lee Slayton, was making regular trips to UVA from Lynchburg for pulmonary fibrosis treatment.

This spring, Slayton was diagnosed with lung cancer, but for other health reasons could not undergo surgery to remove the tumor.

Doctors suggested he try Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy, or SBRT.

"This machine basically allows image guidance so that we are actually able to see the lung cancer as we treat it everyday, so there's no doubt that we are treating the right target," said Dr. James Larner.

Doctors are able to target in on the tumor and try to get rid of it by delivering high and accurate doses of radiation.

"When we give these very high doses it results in very high likelihood of eradicating the tumor," said Dr. Paul Read.

Clayton says after just a few visits, new cat scans show that his tumor has already shrunk considerably.

Unlike traditional radiation treatments, with SBRT, patients only make a handful of trips to the hospital.

Dr. Read said, "As opposed to coming for five to seven weeks for treatment, sometimes even longer, patients can have their treatments completed in just one week."

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