PARKERSBURG -What has been called a cutting edge cancer treatment is now available in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
Dr. Gabor Altdorfer and Dr. Michael Galloway, radiation oncologists at the Camden Clark Medical Center, have been using high dose radiation brachy therapy to treat cancer in the lungs, prostate, gynecological and esophageal cancer and will soon be used in the treatment of breast cancer.
Galloway said the new treatment can be used on a wide range of cancers.
Dr. Michael Galloway, a radiation oncologist at the Camden Clark Medical Center, shows the machine u
"Treatment of other cancers is possible; you can even treat skin cancer with this," he said. "It is a focused and tailored treatment that goes directly into the space where the tumor was located or in the tumor."
Altdorfer said the new treatment is quicker and more convenient for the patient. For some cases of breast cancer the treatment can be done in a week but some will need follow up with chemotherapy, he said.
"Part of this treatment was available with low dose therapy with a three-day admission, bed rest immobilized with possible complications," he said. "This is all out patient; the patient comes in, the procedure is one hour and they come back the next week. We can treat a certain subset of breast cancer in five days, in the morning and afternoon right into the tumor cavity the treatment is five minutes."
Photo by Jeffrey Saulton
Dr. Gabor Altdorfer, a radiation oncologist at the Camden Clark Medical Center, shows an image of the results of the treatment on a lung cancer patient using high dose radiation brachy therapy.
Altdorfer said brachy means treating the tumor from inside out instead of from the outside in through normal tissue before it gets to the tumor. The radiation source is placed inside or adjacent to the tumor, making it safer for the patient and those administering treatment, he said. It is a very rapid and intense form of treatment, he said.
"It is applicable for about 10 percent of patients, but it's available," Altdorfer said. "We should be proud the hospital administration is supportive of this upgrading."
Altdorfer said prostate cancer research shows the treatment is comparable to the cyber knife treatment.
A New Approach
A new cancer treatment is available in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
Dr. Gabor Altdorfer and Dr. Michael Galloway, radiation oncologists at the Camden Clark Medical Center, have been using high dose radiation brachy therapy to treat some forms of cancer.
It has been used for cancer in the lungs, prostate, gynecological and esophageal cancer and will soon be used in the treatment of breast cancer.
Not all patients are candidates for the treatment, and for some chemotherapy may be needed.
"It is very interesting; it is helping some patients who would otherwise struggle and have to leave the community for health care," he said.
Prior to the introduction at Camden Clark Medical Center, the closest treatment locations were Charleston, Morgantown and Columbus.
Altdorfer said the first treatments were done seven years ago and the results have been good. Locally, he said, the first treatments were administered two weeks ago and seven people have been treated.