Maui News

New Radiation Treatment Offered to Maui Cancer Patients

October 15, 2012, 4:30 PM HST
* Updated October 15, 4:40 PM
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Daryl Lynn Tavares (right) smiles alongside her radiation oncologist, Dr. Diane Tsai, after Tavares received her first treatment on the TrueBeam STx Monday at the Pacific Cancer Institute of Maui. Tavares was the first patient treated ever in the state on the new machine aimed at providing faster and more precise treatment for cancer patients. Courtesy photo.

By Wendy Osher

The Pacific Cancer Institute on Maui began use of a new form of radiation treatment today.

Doctors treated their first patient, 46-year-old Daryl Lynn Tavares of Kihei, with the TrueBeam STx, an innovative medical technology that doctors say is capable of significantly faster, more precise, image-guided radio-surgery.

Tavares, a patient of Dr. Diane Tsai, reportedly received approximately seven rounds of radiation at the Maui cancer center when her treatment for breast cancer was switched to the new machine.

“TrueBeam STx makes it possible to deliver accurate image-guided treatments very quickly. At the same time, we can monitor and compensate for tumor motion, and that further increases treatment accuracy,” said Dr. Tsai in a statement.

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Facility officials say this is the first and only treatment of its kind in the state to be offered to cancer patients seeking radiation treatment at the Pacific Cancer Institute of Maui.

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According to information provided by the facility, the TrueBeam STx can deliver treatments 2.4 to 4 times faster with a dose delivery rate of up to 2,400 monitor units per minute—double the cancer-killing output of most other radiosurgery systems.

“It is a privilege to be able to provide the best kind of radiation treatment to our patients,” said Dr. Bobby Baker, founder and president of the Pacific Cancer Institute in a statement today. “With this new machine, we are encouraged that we can fight cancer more effectively and save more lives.”

The TrueBeam STx imager can reportedly generate 3-D images of the tumor and surrounding anatomy 60% faster than was possible with previous Varian imaging technology.  In addition, images generation is accomplished using 25% less X-ray dose.

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Complex radiosurgery that typically takes 30 to 60 minutes can be completed in just 5 to 20 minutes, according to information released today.

The Pacific Cancer Institute of Maui held a private blessing for the new machine this morning, and plans to host an open house early next year.

***Supporting information courtesy Pacific Cancer Institute of Maui.

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