Residents of McHenry County now have local access to the world’s most advanced cancer treatment system, TomoTherapy Hi-Art, through Centegra Health System’s newly expanded and renovated Centegra Sage Cancer Center. The first anticipated patient treatment using the new delivery system is expected to be conducted by mid-September.
To introduce the Centegra Sage Cancer Center’s new technology and services, a multi-chamber mixer was conducted Tuesday, Aug. 19 at the center on the Centegra Hospital-McHenry campus. The participating Chambers of Commerce included McHenry, Crystal Lake, Richmond/Spring Grove and Woodstock.
The cancer center reconstruction project totaled about $2.7 million and included more than 4,400 square feet of renovation and the addition of 3,850 square feet of space, totaling 8,250 square feet. The construction began in December, 2007 and will be completed by late August, 2008.
Those attending the open house were surprised by the array of quantum leaps in cancer care, medical imaging and laboratory services that Centegra Health System has to offer the entire McHenry County community. Tours were provided to showcase the new technology and expanded services.
New equipment introduced
TomoTherapy is a form of Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy, which provides a more direct, efficient dose of radiation for the treatment of cancer. The primary advantage of TomoTherapy is the delivery system, which allows for a precise dose of radiation to a cancerous tumor while helping to save the healthy tissue around it. A 360 degree-treatment is delivered, which provides greater accuracy and precision to the treatment process. The TomoTherapy treatment system is also unique because it acts as a CT scanner and allows for the precise daily imaging and adjustment of the targeted region for treatment and access to how it is responding. This type of treatment is revolutionary because it allows physicians to treat certain areas of the body that other machines couldn’t treat, such as the lining of the lung, without damaging the lung itself.
“Bringing this innovative radiation delivery system to the greater McHenry County area is very valuable to our patients because it gives our already impressive treatment capabilities just one more state-of-the-art treatment option to help improve our community’s health and capabilities in managing patient’s cancer conditions,” said Terrence Bugno, MD, radiation oncologist and medical director of the Centegra Sage Cancer Center. “We will be the first in the area to have such an advanced cancer treatment option and we are excited to be able to provide this innovative technology right here in our own community,” he added.
Amy Moerschbaecher, executive director of Centegra Health System oncology services, said, “Patients want a top caliber program with cancer doctors trained in academic medicine, oncology-certified nurses who understand their special needs, and the latest technology and treatment options to help them get better fast. Now there’s really no need to leave McHenry County.”
Also new to Centegra’s radiology department is a state-of-the-art GE PET/CT scanner that allows full-time, on-site availability for detection, staging and monitoring of a patient’s cancer.
“The results of this information can be directly fused into treatment planning scans in the creation of enhanced radiation delivery,” Bugno said.
Imaging and lab services featured
Also featured in the multi-chamber mixer were imaging and laboratory services such as digital mammography and specialized scanning equipment that uses nuclear medicine, x-rays and computers to see inside various parts of the body; a small, high-dose rate radioactive source under computerized remote control to treat localized cancer areas; chemotherapy and immunotherapy that use powerful drugs and immune system therapies to fight cancer and reduce its spread; infusion centers for transfusions, chemotherapies, biotherapies, hydration and intravenous therapies; and a highly trained staff that includes surgeons, oncologists, oncology-certified nurses, therapists, technicians and other specialists.
Centegra Hospital – McHenry is recognized as having one of six cancer programs in the state to receive the 2007 Commission on Cancer (CoC) Outstanding Achievement Award from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.
Centegra’s advanced cancer care services include: intensity modulated radiation therapy, High-Dose Rate Brachytherapy, on-site physician practices for chemotherapy, immunotherapy and biological response modifier therapy, clinical research protocols, a cancer resource library, cancer support services (massage therapy, stress management programs, mediation) and advanced equipment that allows radiation therapy treatment for 95 percent of cancer patients.
Centegra Health System is committed to meeting the healthcare needs of the residents of greater McHenry County and to making services available in multiple and convenient locations, including hospitals in McHenry and Woodstock, Immediate and Primary Care centers, Health Bridge Fitness Centers and more. As the region’s leading healthcare provider, Centegra Health System continues to bring the latest treatments and technology, along with the skills of nearly 4,000 medical professionals, to meet the needs of the growing McHenry County community. For more information on Centegra Health System visit centegra.org or call 877-CENTEGRA.