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Hospital Acquires Advanced Technology to Treat Brain Tumors Without Incisions

New Britain [August 31 2007] - People with brain tumors will soon be able to receive precisely targeted treatment without incisions, thanks to new, state-of-the-art technology at The Hospital of Central Connecticut.

The hospital will be the first in the state to acquire the Novalis®shaped-beam surgery system for non-invasive stereotactic radiosurgery – a form of treatment that uses highly focused radiation.

The hospital recently received approval from state regulators to purchase the system, one of the most advanced available to treat tumors and lesions in the brain without incisions, pain or blood loss. The system can also be used to treat tumors near the spinal cord and in other areas of the body.

“The system uses a high-powered, shaped radiation beam that pinpoints the exact size and shape of a tumor, so we can precisely target treatment while sparing healthy, surrounding tissue,” said Joseph Aferzon, M.D., chief of neurosurgery at The Hospital of Central Connecticut. “The Novalis system has certain advantages over other knifeless surgery systems like Gamma Knife or CyberKnife, particularly in treating tumors close to the spine.”

“Because the system is non-invasive, it also allows us to treat some patients with inoperable lesions, including those whose medical conditions don’t allow us to perform higher-risk surgical procedures, ” added Neurosurgeon Ahmed Khan, M.D.

Here’s how the system works: Before treatment, CT Scans and MRIs are taken of the patient. Information from these scans is entered into computer and a treatment plan developed. During treatment, the patient simply lies on the table while his or her tumor is treated, without incisions, pain or blood loss.

“This technology allows us to treat tumors without the side effects normally encountered when using standard radiation therapy,” said Neal Goldberg, M.D., chief of radiation oncology at The Hospital of Central Connecticut.

The American Savings Foundation Radiation Oncology Treatment Center at the hospital’s New Britain General campus is being expanded to house the new unit and treatment area. Total project cost is $5.8 million. The hospital expects to begin using the system in October 2008.

“We’re pleased to bring one of the most advanced stereotactic radiosurgery systems available to the Central Connecticut community,” said Steven Hanks, M.D., the hospital’s senior vice president of medical affairs. “With the Novalis system and other leading-edge radiation therapy treatments the hospital offers, area residents don’t have to travel far for the most progressive and effective treatments for cancer and a variety of other conditions.”

The Novalis system is the latest addition to the hospital’s comprehensive line of cancer services, which includes a variety of advanced radiation oncology technologies and procedures to treat many different cancers. At its George Bray Cancer Center, the hospital offers chemo- and other therapies using the latest anti-cancer drugs and treatments. The hospital also provides inpatient care in its oncology unit.

Contact: Nancy Martin, 860-224-5900, ext. 4366

HCC Corporate Communications
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