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Area's First CT Simulation for Radiation Treatment Performed

The Radiation Oncology Department of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center recently performed the first computed tomographic (CT) simulation in the Piedmont Triad. Also called virtual simulation, the procedure allows the most precise technique available to treat tumors with radiation therapy.

"This is a major advance in accurately treating tumors," said W. Robert Lee, M.D., a radiation oncologist at the Medical Center. "Through CT simulation we can pinpoint the exact location of the tumor and conform the radiation treatment to the size and shape of the tumor while optimally sparing surrounding normal tissue. This will allow for higher cure rates with fewer complications."

It is also more convenient for patients. The CT simulation takes only 10-15 minutes and, since the information is stored, adjustments in treatment planning can be made from the original data. After the plan is developed, the patient undergoes a series of radiation treatments, lasting from six to eight weeks, depending on the type of cancer.

Initially being used to treat prostate cancer, the technology has application for many tumor sites, including breast, prostate, lung and brain.

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Last Updated: 07-10-2009
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