Significant investments in new technology are positioning Capella Healthcare’s affiliated facilities to discover cancer earlier and treat it more effectively. Recent investments include a $3.5 million Novalis TM™ radiosurgery system at Muskogee Regional Medical Center Oklahoma and a Varian Trilogy IMRT system at Willamette Valley Medical Center in Oregon.

Muskogee, Oklahoma
At Muskogee Regional Medical Center, a $3.5 million investment is enabling physicians to treat cancer more effectively.  The Novalis Tx™ is a powerful radiosurgery system that delivers a highly precise and accurate dose of radiation therapy while shortening treatment times, minimizing side effects and sparing normal healthy tissue.  It’s the first system of its kind in northern Oklahoma.

Radiosurgery is a radiation delivery procedure that precisely delivers large radiation doses to tumors in a single session or in a small number of sessions. The goal of this non-invasive procedure is to destroy, or make inactive, the targeted anatomy without harming nearby healthy tissue and without involving traditional surgery.  Historically, radiosurgery began by treating targets in the brain but has now been extended to other organs.

The Novalis Tx radiosurgery platform together with RapidArc technology enables treatment with Image-Guided Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) in about half the time typically needed for conventional IMRT.  The specialized X-ray imaging system is used to pinpoint the target and position the patient with millimeter accuracy, compensating for any motion that occurs during a treatment.

McMinnville, Oregon
A similar system is in use at Willamette Valley Medical Center in Oregon.  A $1.9 million capital infusion upgraded their current IMRT to a new Varian Trilogy system. Complete with Gated RapidArc and a new open motion management interface, these tools expand the options for treating moving tumors. Gated RapidArc utilizes the RPM system to monitor and adjust for tumor motion during a treatment. The powerful system makes treatment times shorter, thus making the experience more comfortable for the patient and sparing more healthy tissues.  To enhance patient treatment planning, WVMC is also installing the IMPAC EMR system as part of their Cancer Center upgrade.

And More
Another $2 million has been invested in recent months on digital mammography units at a number of different hospitals.  One of the most recent advances in the detection of breast cancer, digital mammography converts the image into a digital picture for review on a computer monitor enabling the radiologist to alter the magnification, orientation, brightness, and contrast of the image in order to more clearly see certain areas.  Preliminary studies show that digital mammography is not necessarily more accurate for the majority of women.  However, women with dense breasts, those who are pre- or perimenopausal (women who had a last menstrual period within 12 months of their mammograms), or those who are younger than age 50 may benefit from having a digital rather than a film mammogram.