Parkview is proud to offer some of the most advanced radiation, chemotherapy and biotherapy treatments available, including stereotactic radiosurgery using the area’s only CyberKnife®. This amazing computer-guided system administers radiation with extreme accuracy to tumors that were previously thought to be inoperable due to their location in the body.
Parkview’s comprehensive cancer treatment program also incorporates these features:
Cancer Treatment Options
Parkview Comprehensive Cancer Center offers the latest in radiation therapy and other treatments for patients. Because every patient is unique, treatment plans must be specific to the patient’s anatomy and needs in order to maximize effectiveness.
Parkview physicians and cancer center staff use the Eclipse™ Treatment Planning System. Eclipse pinpoints the treatment area and improves treatment planning by calculating appropriate dosages of radiation.
- Parkview was first in the region to introduce CyberKnife, the exciting technology in stereotactic radiosurgery that can reach cancers in areas of the body previously considered inoperable or untreatable, including the spine, brain, liver, pelvis and other areas. CyberKnife can often eliminate or deactivate tumors with fewer treatments than required by other methods.
- Stereotactic radiosurgery is a noninvasive, bloodless procedure performed in an outpatient setting. Oncologists and neurosurgeons work together to treat lesions in the brain, including tumors and vascular malformations.
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), one of the most precise and sophisticated radiotherapy treatments in the world, is used to treat tumors that might have been considered untreatable in the past due to the close proximity of other vital organs. IMRT uses computer-generated images to plan and then deliver precision-focused radiation beams to cancerous tumors. This treatment minimizes harm to surrounding healthy tissue. IMRT may be used to treat patients with prostate, head and neck, brain, pancreatic and other cancers. IMRT can be a noninvasive alternative to surgery and is usually done on an outpatient basis. Parkview was the first cancer center in the region to use IMRT.
- Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) is a highly accurate imaging process performed prior to radiation therapy treatment. The process involves obtaining radiographic images of the patient’s tumor site each day, then comparing these images to those acquired in the treatment planning process. The process ensures accurate placement of the treatment fields on a daily basis. IGRT is used primarily in the treatment of head and neck cancers, as well as some pelvic tumors.
- External beam therapy consists of high-energy X-ray radiation delivered externally by a linear accelerator. The radiation passes through the skin to the targeted tissue.
- High- and low-dose-rate brachytherapy delivers radiation directly to a tumor through applicators and catheters (tubes), thus protecting healthy surrounding tissue.
- Intraoperative radiation therapy is a method of delivering radiation to a tumor during surgery.
- Prostate seed implants are a form of radiation therapy in which permanent, radioactive “seeds” are placed inside the prostate. The encapsulated sources emit low-energy radiation that destroys the cancer while leaving other organs undamaged.
Eclipse™ Treatment Planning System is a trademark of Varian Medical Systems, Inc.
Surgery is a local, invasive treatment used to remove a cancerous tumor in a specific area. Surgery is generally advisable when physicians can safely remove the cancer from the body. Today, physicians take great care to leave healthy tissue intact and remove only the cancerous portion. The Parkview Comprehensive Cancer Center includes one of the few radiation treatment centers in the country that has surgery suites, allowing surgeries to be performed on site.
Robotic surgery using the da Vinci® Surgical System is one of the treatment options being used effectively for prostate and other urological cancers at Parkview. Da Vinci offers patients the latest in minimally invasive precision surgery performed through tiny incisions.
A surgeon operates the computer-enhanced system, which provides 3-D imaging and guides micro-instruments in concert with the movement of the surgeon’s hands. The system’s robotic arms can rotate a full 360 degrees, allowing the surgeon to manipulate the surgical instruments with more flexibility and control than would be possible performing surgery with human hands.
The da Vinci system can provide many patient benefits, including:
- Less blood loss and trauma to the body
- Less pain
- Shorter hospital stay
- Faster recovery
- Less risk of infection or scarring
da Vinci® Surgical System is a registered trademark of Intuitive Surgical, Inc.
Chemotherapy is the term for the use of medications to destroy or control cancer cells. Because chemotherapy works throughout the body, it is called a systemic form of therapy. Chemotherapy can be administered by mouth – in a capsule or tablet – by injection, or intravenously.
Physicians from Fort Wayne Medical Oncology & Hematology provide chemotherapy services for patients being treated at the Parkview Comprehensive Cancer Center.
A new type of treatment, different from chemotherapy, is called targeted therapy. The term refers to a group of drugs that attack cancer cells in various ways, affecting how the cells grow, divide and repair themselves, as well as how they interact with other cells. Targeted therapies "target" only cancer cells while minimizing damage to normal cells. There are many types of targeted therapy, such as monoclonal antibodies, enzyme inhibitors, cytokines, angiogenesis inhibitors and others.
Biological therapy is the use of a group of medications that may directly kill cancer cells or stimulate the patient’s immune system.