A revolutionary cancer treatment makes its way to the Quad Cities.
We're now the only place between Des Moines and Peoria to offer a machine that promises more efficient radiation treatment that’s supposed to cut down on the time the patient has to spend in the hospital.
It’s a machine that looks like it belongs in outer space, but it's right here in the Quad Cities at Trinity Cancer Center.
"It really expands the horizon of what can be treated here,” said Dr. Thomas Stoffel, a Radiation Oncologist at Trinity.
Most common tumors treated with the technology are prostate, breast, lung and head and neck cancers.
"As you can see, the patient lies on the table and the machine rotates around the patient," said Andrea Schelin, Director of Oncology.
Computers use electron and photon therapy to isolate cancer cells from normal ones, Schelin says, reducing patient side effects, like nausea.
"The patient doesn't feel anything at all,” she said. “We want to make it easier for the patient in terms of how they feel physically and how they feel emotionally, too."
With this new technology, Trinity says patients won't necessarily have to visit the hospital as much for treatment, which could reduce their stress in what's already a difficult time.
Actual time of treatment is reduced dramatically, from 40 minutes to two.
That frees up hospital staff and, they say, results in happier patients.
"We have some very exciting patients that are going to be first."
Trinity started treating patients using the new machine this week.
They'll hold an open house showcasing it later this fall.