Bon Secours is adding some advanced new equipment to expand the radiation therapy options at its St. Francis Cancer Center, providing cancer patients with more non-surgical treatment options.

This week, staff gathered for a blessing of the new linear accelerator, a machine that uses X-rays to treat tumors throughout the body. This new device is designed specifically to perform Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT) and Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS), both minimally invasively and effective means to treat a wide range of lesions and cancers, including prostate, lung, brain, spine and more. 

“This new machine gives us the ability to treat small lesions with pinpoint accuracy. It offers a faster delivery of radiation, cutting down on the time a patient has to stay still, and it’s a lot better at tracking the patient to make sure they don’t move which improves accuracy,” said Radiation Oncologist, Dr. Albert Attia.

Patients also face a shorter course of treatment with this new technology. Instead of taking several weeks, it takes just one to five treatments over the course of 1 to 2 weeks. The new addition will also increase access to patients who can now receive better treatment closer to home, instead of having to travel to other regions seeking out this level of care. 

That’s why the Cancer Center’s current linear accelerator was also upgraded to provide the same accuracy, efficiency, and enhanced patient experience as the new device. Having both up and running will help answer some of the demand, as the current machine has been functioning above capacity since the program’s inception four years ago. 

Additionally, Bon Secours debuted its new permanent Positron Emission Tomography / Computed Tomography (PET/CT) scanner. This will take the place of a mobile PET scanner that Bon Secours was leasing for a few days a week. By installing a permanent one, the health system will save money while also increasing capacity and reducing patient wait times. The new scanner will also be more easily accessible than its mobile predecessor.