Technology Fights Cancer Without Needing to Make a Single Incision

The Varian Novalis Tx™ performs “stereotactic body radiosurgery” in a matter of minutes and often in five or fewer treatment sessions, using precisely-shaped, targeted radiation beams to treat an array of malignant cancers and benign lesions.
Jan. 21, 2011 - PRLog -- Cancer specialists at South Nassau Communities Hospital’s Center for Comprehensive Radiation Services are now using the medical industry’s most powerful and advanced radiation therapy technology to perform fast, precise, image-guided treatments for tumors and non-malignant growths without needing to make a single incision.

The technology, Varian Novalis Tx™, performs a type of radiation therapy called “stereotactic body radiosurgery.”  In a matter of minutes, and often in five or fewer treatment sessions, it performs radiosurgery using precisely-shaped and targeted radiation beams to treat an array of malignant cancers and benign lesions, including brain, prostate, lung, spine, and liver cancers; even in  previously irradiated sites.

"Prior to the Novalis Tx, a patient would have to be as still as possible for up to 60 minutes when receiving radiosurgery,” said Edward Mullen, MD, director of radiation oncology and co-medical director of Long Island Gamma Knife®.  "That was inconvenient and uncomfortable, and the patient movement impacted treatment accuracy and effectiveness.”

The Novalis Tx incorporates two complementary imaging systems: an in-room X-ray imaging system, called ExacTrac, and a cone-beam CT imaging system.  ExacTrac provides real-time imaging and fine-tuning that ensures that the targeted lesion is aligned with the treatment beam during treatment.   The CT imaging system generates a 3-D image of the targeted lesion and surrounding tissues, allowing clinicians to see the precise location and shape of the tumor; fine-tune the patient's position; and make certain that the internal anatomy has not shifted or changed prior to treatment.

"The imaging technologies allow us to track motion during treatment, so targeting can be adjusted if the patient shifts by even a few millimeters," said Dr. Mullen.  "Additionally, with the Novalis Tx we can synchronize treatment with a patient's normal breathing pattern to compensate for motion when treating in or near the lungs."

Patient benefits of Novalis Tx radiosurgery include continuation of normal activities immediately following a treatment and fewer radiation therapy side effects because of reduced damage to nearby healthy organs and other soft tissues.

In addition to South Nassau’s Center for Comprehensive Radiation Services, the Novalis TX is offered at leading academic institutions and regional medical centers, including Duke University, UCLA, Brigham and Women's Hospital/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and the Henry Ford Health System.

South Nassau is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR).  The ACR accreditation process includes on-site surveys and evaluations conducted by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in radiation oncology.  South Nassau’s roster of advanced diagnostic and radiation oncology technologies and treatments also includes the following services:

·                    Long Island Gamma Knife Center at South Nassau The Gamma Knife is a powerful radiosurgery tool that is the treatment of choice for deep-seated brain abnormalities, including tumors that would otherwise be considered inoperable.  South Nassau is the only hospital in the New York City area with both the Gamma Knife and the Novalis Tx.  

·                    South Nassau’s Center for Prostate Health In addition to prostate brachytherapy, radiosurgery using the Novalis Tx, external beam radiation, hormone therapy and watchful waiting, the center now offers minimally-invasive, robotic assisted prostate cancer surgery performed by skilled surgeons who use the revolutionary da Vinci robotic surgical system.

To schedule a consultation or for more information about South Nassau’s Cancer Program, call 516-632-3360, or visit

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South Nassau Communities Hospital is one of the region’s largest hospitals, with 435 beds, more than 875 physicians and 2,800 employees. Located in Oceanside, NY, the hospital is an acute-care, not-for-profit teaching hospital that provides state-of-the-art care in cardiac, oncologic, orthopedic, bariatric, pain management, mental health and emergency services. In addition to its extensive outpatient specialty centers, South Nassau provides emergency and elective angioplasty and is the only hospital on Long Island with the Novalis Tx™ and Gamma Knife® radiosurgery technologies. South Nassau is a designated Stroke Center by the New York State Department of Health and Comprehensive Community Cancer Center by the American College of Surgeons and is recognized as a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. For more information, visit
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Tags:Cancer, Stereotactic Radiosurgery, Radiation Therapy, Image-guided, Oncology, Cancer Program, Oncologist
Industry:Health, Medical, Science
Location:Oceanside - New York - United States
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