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MVH Cancer Program Tools and Procedures

Miami Valley Hospital (MVH) Cancer Program is using new tools in the fight against cancer. The way the battle is waged is changing and the approach of radically invasive surgery is not as common as it once was. Now, less invasive techniques are being used that can be just as effective or more effective in the fight.

Combinations of treatments are used together and can give you a higher quality of life after treatment. There are a variety of tools and procedures used at MVH Cancer Program for both surgery and radiation treatment.

For Surgery

The Lumpectomy is a less-invasive way to remove breast tumors than a mastectomy. It is often referred to as “breast-conserving surgery.” The tumor itself is removed surgically, and then any cancer cells in the surrounding tissue are dosed with radiation, as in balloon brachytherapy.

When undergoing a sentinel node biopsy, the MVH oncology patient is injected with a dye and/or radio isotope that shows up in monitoring.  An Ethicon Neoprobe® Gamma Detection Probe is used to detect a cancerous lymph node.  The surgeon then removes that node.  This can greatly reduce the number of nodes removed from the body.

VATS video-assisted thoracic surgery is a minimally invasive thoracoscopic procedure. Smaller incisions are made, including an incision for the camera to guide the surgeon. When removing a tumor, this method causes less surgical trauma, less incision pain, a shorter hospital stay, and a shorter recovery.  

The daVinci® Robot is an advanced surgical tool used for the minimally invasive treatment of prostrate and gynecologic oncology cancers. Instead of a large incision for surgery, the robot requires only small holes. The robot doesn't move on its own, but becomes an extension of the surgeon's hands. The manual movements of the surgeon can be scaled and translated into tiny precise movements of the microsurgical instruments. In addition to a shorter hospital stay and a faster recovery, robotic surgery reduces the risk of urinary incontinence and impotence after surgery.  

For Radiation

Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) uses low-dose radiation beams from many angles that converge on the tumor for a full dose of treatment. First, a multi-leaf collimator is used to outline the tumor so beams can be directed only at it and not at healthy tissue around the tumor. CT scans, PET scans, and MRIs are used to help determine the exact position of the tumor. Then a dosimetrist calculates the IMRT exposures and beam configurations needed to deliver the correct dose of radiation.
 
Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) hones in on bony structures and implanted markers to target the area to be treated. This can compensate for the patients being slightly repositioned from one treatment to the next to show the exact area.
 
In High Dose Rate Brachytherapy, a radiation source, such as iridium, is implanted at the tumor site for a period of time and then usually removed. This effectively treats the tumor site and helps ensure the health of other tissue.

Brachytherapy is commonly used for lung cancer and gynecologic cancer. This technique has also been used to put a radiation source directly into the breast. Brachytherapy can be performed along with external beam therapy. While the radiation source puts a high dose at the tumor, the external beam destroys cancer cells that surround the tumor.  

Mammosite® radiation therapy is a breast cancer therapy process that happens over a few days. After the tumor is removed by a surgeon, a Mammosite® balloon attached to a thin catheter is placed at the tumor site. The catheter is used to migrate radiation seeds into the balloon. Treatment is typically five days. After this, the balloon is removed through the same incision that was used to remove the tumor.  

Total Body Irradiation is a radiotherapy technique used to treat the entire body undergoing some type of transplant.  

Total Skin Electron Beam is used to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Because lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, are throughout the body, this form of radiation may target various areas of the body. 

Radio Frequency Ablation is a focused heat treatment used to treat cancer in patients with liver tumors. It's performed with a probe that can be programmed for very specific temperatures. This can be used on one or several small lesions in the liver.