Cancer Care Partners first in U.S. to use new, advanced cancer treatment

On March 7, 2010, Cancer Care Partners became the first cancer center in the United States to use the new TomotherapyHD, a comprehensive, image guided radiation therapy system that enables Cancer Care Partners to more efficiently treat complex tumors with improved precision.

The new TomoHD treatment system in Mishawaka is only the third such unit to be installed in the world.

TomoTherapy is a highly advanced and precise form of radiation treatment, and TomoHD takes that cancer fighting technology a step further. By combining Helical and Direct Tomotherapy technologies, the TomoHD treatment system is designed to help radiation oncology teams efficiently target a broad range of cancer patients requiring radiation therapy.

“Combining Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) with the accuracy of CT scanning technology, TomoTherapy is one of the most exciting cancer treatment technologies in recent years,” said Dr. Dan Bruetman, Medical Oncologist and Medical Director of Cancer Care Partners.“Consistent with our model of patient-centered care, the new TomoHD system will enable us to treat our patients more safely and efficiently with high quality radiation therapy. Our goal is to provide better treatments with less side effects, resulting in better quality of life for our patients."

Unlike conventional radiation therapies that deliver wide radiation beams from typically five to nine different angles when delivering IMRT, TomoTherapy uses small, focused radiation beams directed at the tumor from dozens of beam angles and thousands of positions to pinpoint cancerous masses and deliver optimal dose shaping to those specific areas. As a result, nearby organs and healthy tissue receive far less radiation, and subsequent injury, often resulting in fewer and milder side effects while under treatment, as well as improved recovery times for patients.

“TomoTherapy allows us to deliver precise amounts of radiation directly to the tumor site while substantially lowering the amount of radiation absorbed by normal tissues,” said Dr. Alan Coon, Radiation Oncologist at Cancer Care Partners. “The daily image guidance provides a means of accurately tracking the response to treatment, and changes can be evaluated quickly – with appropriate adjustments in the radiation treatment plan implemented promptly. This combination of superior dose delivery and improved image guidance allows us to reduce treatment related symptoms and discomfort in cancers traditionally associated with high rates of side effects during therapy, including head and neck cancers, and prostate cancers, as well as many others.”

In addition to TomoTherapy, Cancer Care Partners is home to the area’s most advanced treatments and diagnostic equipment, some only available at the new facility. These include a 64-slice PET/CT scanner, and refined forms of chemotherapy, advanced ultrasound technology and clinical trials, among others.

About Cancer Care Partners:
Cancer Care Partners is an integrated cancer treatment center formed by The South Bend Clinic and Goshen Center for Cancer Care, bringing together the area’s leading specialists and the latest technology, working together, shoulder to shoulder, all under one roof, to provide an advanced level of care to cancer patients not previously available in St. Joseph County. Modeled after Goshen’s award-winning integrative approach, Cancer Care Partners surrounds each patient with world-class physicians, advanced treatments, complementary medicine and a host of supportive services. All in one place. As a result, Cancer Care Partners is the only fully integrated cancer center in the South Bend/Mishawaka area to offer an entire team of multidisciplinary specialists who work collaboratively in one place to develop the best treatment plan for each patient, and enhance their quality of care. For more information, visit

About The South Bend Clinic:
The South Bend Clinic is a comprehensive, multi-specialty physician group serving the Michiana region for over 90 years. With over 100 medical and surgical providers in over 22 different specialty and primary care disciplines, the Clinic is the largest medical group in northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan. The South Bend Clinic physicians practice in nine regional offices and campuses. Clinic physicians have long been leaders in innovative care delivery, offering the community’s most comprehensive scope of primary care to pediatric, adult and geriatric patients, complemented by an array of subspecialists in cancer, musculoskeletal care, cardiac and vascular care, and numerous surgical and medical subspecialties. For more information, call 574.234.8161 or visit

About Indiana University Health Goshen Center for Cancer Care:
Goshen Center for Cancer Care is a leader in innovative cancer treatment. They were among the first to adopt a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to cancer treatment. They offer holistic programs for strengthening minds as well as bodies, place a premium on family involvement and spiritual needs, and encourage patients to play a decision-making role in treatment selection. Through this integrative team approach, the center provides medical, radiation, nuclear and surgical oncology, as well as naturopathic medicine. The Goshen Center for Cancer Care is involved in, and sponsors, a number of clinical trials. To find out more about the Goshen Center for Cancer Care, or Indiana University Health Goshen, call 866.561.4673 or visit


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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