Forrest General Hospital expands procedure that reduces the number of treatments for cancer patients
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – (April 29, 2016) Forrest General Hospital has expanded its stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) services and has the ability to treat a number of different types of cancers including brain, lung, spine, liver and prostate as well as other neurological problems. This state-of-the-art treatment can save patients time and money by offering similar results to traditional radiation therapy with fewer sessions. Richard Clatterbuck, M.D., neurosurgeon with Hattiesburg Clinic, Mike Cheng, M.D., radiation oncologist with the Forrest General Cancer Center, and Joseph Solloum, M.D., radiation oncologist with Forrest General Cancer Center, offer this service to the Hattiesburg area.
Stereotactic radiosurgery works by using four dimensional imaging to target abnormalities and treat them with high doses of radiation. SRS treatment plans minimize damage to nearby healthy tissue with their image-guided targeting. In spite of its name, stereotactic radiosurgery is a radiation treatment, not a surgical procedure.
Clatterbuck explains, “Stereotactic radiosurgery is similar to other radiation treatment methods in the way it’s delivered and the end result. The primary difference is the planning allows very specific treatment of the abnormality with minimization of the dose going to normal structures in the body. You can shorten the time course of treatment and obtain equivalent results due to the ability to deliver greater dose.”
“For example, previously a patient with a brain tumor would need surgery to remove the tumor followed by whole brain radiation. Now, we can give the patient a single treatment that replaces the surgery and the conventional radiation. There’s no bleeding, no cutting, no downtime,” added Cheng. Offering another example, Cheng continued, “Prostate radiosurgery is only five treatments versus forty treatments for conventional IMRT prostate treatment. Long term a patient is likely to see fewer side effects undergoing radiosurgery to treat prostate cancer rather than traditional seed implants.”
SRS may be recommended for patients who are at high risk for conventional surgery, because of age or health issues, or patients with tumors or lesions too close to other vital areas of the body. Forrest General Hospital has offered the procedure for cancer patients since 2013.
“Stereotactic body radiation therapy or SBRT is quite effective for early stage lung cancer, gastrointestinal tumors such as pancreatic tumors, and liver tumors. In lung tumors, there is convincing evidence from United States, Japan and Europe that SBRT may be as effective as surgery for early stage lung cancer,” said Salloum.
In 2016, Forrest General received the Women’s Choice Award® as one of America’s Best Hospitals for Cancer Care . This evidence-based designation is the only cancer care award that identifies the country’s best healthcare institutions based on robust criteria that considers female patient satisfaction, clinical excellence, and what women say they want from a hospital. Award winners represent hospitals that have been accredited by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer, signifying Forrest General’s commitment to meeting the highest standards in cancer care.
Forrest General Cancer Center
Forrest General Hospital's Cancer Center ranks among the largest and most sophisticated regional cancer treatment centers in South Mississippi and offers a place where patients can receive advanced care in a beautiful, compassionate environment close to home.