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Cancer Center Expands Services with New Technology

November 15, 2019

Hackettstown Medical Center is one of five facilities in New Jersey now offering TrueBeam® for the treatment of cancer patients. Called a high-performance linear accelerator (LINAC), the machine delivers high-energy X-rays that adjust to the shape of the tumor being treated.

According to Yana Goldberg, MD, medical director, Radiation Oncology at Hackettstown Medical Center and Radiation Oncology Associates of North Jersey, the TrueBeam technology allows doctors to treat patients with deep-seated tumors through a procedure called stereotactic body radiotherapy, where high doses of radiation are used to kill tumors.

One of the challenges in treating cancer with radiation therapy is making sure that the tumor is precisely targeted without damaging other areas of the body. “We obtain a special CAT scan to verify the position of the tumor to allow us to treat it with more precision and accuracy,” says Dr. Goldberg. “With the TrueBeam® radiotherapy system we zoom in to the tumor to treat exactly where we want to treat thus avoiding damage to other areas.”

The machine works by rotating around the body to administer radiation from various angles. Beams of energy with various intensities are aimed at a tumor or specific area to accurately hit the target. According to Donia Lombardo, manager of radiology and radiation oncology, “as the patient breathes the body moves and it could be radiating another area. The machine has the ability to synchronize radiation beams while the patient is breathing which provides more comfort for the patient.”

The addition of TrueBeam technology to Hackettstown allows doctors from Radiation Oncology Associates of North New Jersey to extend services to patients with prostate or breast cancer, in addition to other cancers, at Hackettstown. “We have vast experience in treating patients with this technology,” says Dr. Goldberg. “We’re able to offer state-of-the-art services to local patients so they don’t have to go out of the region, which is very exciting.”

Some of the Other Cancers We Treat with TrueBeam Include:

  • cancers anywhere in the body
  • lung
  •  liver
  • breast
  • prostate
  • brain
  • head and neck
  • abdomen
  • pelvis
  • spine

According to Lombardo, the hospital’s Joan Knechel Cancer Center has received radiation oncology accreditation from the American College of Radiology. This involves a rigorous third-party review of the facility’s personnel, equipment, treatment planning, and treatment records, and includes patient safety and quality control assessments.

Dr. Goldberg is part of Atlantic Medical Group, a multispecialty network of health care providers. Dr. Goldberg and Radiation Oncology Associates of North Jersey can be reached at 908-441-1500. For more information on cancer treatment at Hackettstown Medical Center, contact the Joan Knechel Cancer Center at 908-441-1500.