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Moores UCSD Cancer Center Offers Radiation Therapy in South Bay Facility

 

October 09, 2009  |   

UC San Diego Medical Center has opened a radiation oncology facility in South Bay, bringing the same types of radiation therapy services and opportunities for participation in clinical trials that are provided at their facility on the UCSD campus in La Jolla.

South Bay RadOnc

The new approximately 11,000 square-foot facility – UC San Diego Radiation Oncology South Bay – is located at 959 Lane Avenue, Building B, in Chula Vista.

“We’re happy to be bringing Moores UCSD Cancer Center technology and expertise to the South Bay community,” said medical director Ramez Farah, MD, clinical professor in the Department of Radiology at the UC San Diego School of Medicine. “Rather than traveling to La Jolla, patients who live in or near the South Bay area can visit this nearby location for treatment.”

Arno J. Mundt, MD, chair of radiation oncology at Moores UCSD Cancer Center, echoed this sentiment. Radiation therapy is frequently a daily treatment, unlike chemotherapy, and can require a huge time investment. “Our new facility is an effort to make the treatments easier, more convenient and less expensive in terms of travel for many of our patients and their families. We’re bringing the latest technology and services practically to South Bay residents’ doorsteps.”

The new center is the latest addition to the Moores UCSD Cancer Center radiation oncology services. Last fall, the Cancer Center opened a satellite office in Encinitas, and recently expanded its patient care and research capabilities in La Jolla by opening a new building adjacent to the Moores UCSD Cancer Center.

The South Bay facility offers innovative technology such as RapidArc, developed by Varian Medical Systems. Using RapidArc, the center’s linear accelerator rotates 360 degrees around the patient to deliver continuous radiation, shaping and reshaping the radiation beam according to the size, shape and location of the tumor.

According to Mundt, RapidArc can cut treatment delivery time from 10 or 15 minutes to two minutes or less, resulting in more comfort for patients. Because therapy is given in one rotation, the patient doesn’t have to keep still for long periods of time.  

The South Bay facility also offers a versatile array of other sophisticated features, including a state-of-the-art linear accelerator and a treatment planning system that enables the complex planning necessary for such technologies as Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) and stereotactic radiosurgery. IMRT uses angled beams to precisely shape the radiation field around the periphery of the tumor while also sparing normal tissues in front of and behind the cancer.

Stereotactic radiosurgery is a non-surgical procedure that uses highly focused X-rays to treat brain and spine tumors as well as localized tumors in the lung and liver. A board- certified medical physicist is on site to oversee all treatment planning and delivery.

The new center features the Varian Trilogy linear accelerator, which is also used at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center in La Jolla and at the Encinitas facility. The Trilogy can conform the radiation dose to the exact size and shape of a tumor in three dimensions, reducing doses to nearby healthy tissue. It can pinpoint and destroy tumors deep inside the body.

In addition, the Trilogy can employ image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), which entails the use of imaging in the treatment room to improve radiation delivery. With the patient on the treatment table, the Varian Trilogy can localize tumors deep within the body daily prior to treatment, greatly improving accuracy.  

For more information and to schedule an appointment, call 619-502-7730.

The Moores UCSD Cancer Center is one of the nation’s 40 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, combining research, clinical care and community outreach to advance the prevention, treatment and cure of cancer.

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Media Contact: Steve Benowitz, 619-543-6163, sbenowitz@ucsd.edu

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