Technology & Treatments
There are several types of treatments for cancer, and the one that’s right for you depends on the type and stage of cancer that you have. Many times, a combination of treatments is used to treat patients.
The Aspirus Regional Cancer Center offers a wide array of treatments, ranging from commonly known treatments like chemotherapy and radiation to advanced treatment using the latest technology like intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and TomoTherapy.
To learn more about some of the treatments offered at the Aspirus Regional Cancer Center, please select from the treatments below or view the slide show located on the right of this page.
Common Cancer Treatments
Chemotherapy is the use of medicines to treat cancer. When cancer occurs, normal cells in the body divide without any control. Chemotherapy fights cancer by stopping these cells from growing and dividing. Normal, healthy cells, which divide rapidly, may also be affected. This is what causes side effects. The normal, healthy cells usually will repair themselves after chemotherapy. There are other medicines and treatments to help with side effects. For more information please visit our section on chemotherapy.
- Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy uses high energy, penetrating radiation such as x-rays, gamma rays and electron beams to kill cancer cells. The Aspirus Regional Cancer Center uses the most advanced scanning and treatment equipment available, allowing doctors to precisely target tumors. For more information, please visit our section on radiation therapy.
Surgical options for treating cancer vary, depending on the type of cancer. In most cases, surgeries are performed to either partially, or completely remove a tumor or tumors. Some surgeries are performed using traditional methods, where an incision is made for the surgeon to access the tumor. Thanks to advancements in medicine, minimally-invasive surgery is now an option for some types of cancer. At Aspirus, surgeons perform minimally-invasive surgery for prostate cancer using the da Vinci robot. For more information about minimally invasive surgery or da Vinci prostatectomy, visit our section on da Vinci Surgery.
- Bone marrow transplant
A patient's diseased bone marrow is replaced or destroyed by anticancer drugs or treatment. The Aspirus Regional Cancer Center staff will coordinate care with your selected transplant program.
- Gene therapy
Gene therapy changes the expression of a person's genes to treat lethal and disabling diseases, with the potential of preventing disease altogether.
- Hormone therapy
Hormone therapy uses hormones, medications, or surgery to suppress (block) or mimic hormones and alter the growth of hormone-sensitive cancer.
A treatment that uses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer.
Advanced Technology & Treatments
Click below to learn more about advanced treatments and technologies available at the Aspirus Regional Cancer Center:
TomoTherapy literally means, 'slice therapy,' and gets its name from tomography, or cross-sectional imaging. The TomoTherapy Hi•Art System® delivers a very sophisticated form of intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), and combines treatment planning, CT image-guided patient positioning, and treatment delivery into one integrated system. Its TomoImage® capabilities allow physicians to verify the position of the tumor before each treatment session, so adjustments can be made on the spot to make sure that radiation is delivered exactly where it should be. This results in radiation treatments that conform to tumors like never before which, in turn, minimizes radiation dose to surrounding normal, healthy tissues. For more information, visit our section on TomoTherapy.
- The Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy Treatment (IMRT)
The Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy Treatment (IMRT) system analyzes three-dimensional images of a tumor and chooses from millions of possible radiation beam arrangements to design the best possible treatment plan. This approach allows Aspirus Regional Cancer Center doctors to attack a tumor with multiple small radiation beams that deliver the greatest treatment dose to cancer cells, while decreasing damage to surrounding normal tissues.
- da Vinci Robotic Surgery
Referred to by many as robotic surgery for prostate cancer, or robotic prostatectomy, da Vinci Prostatectomy is more accurately a robot-assisted, minimally invasive surgery that is quickly becoming the preferred treatment for removal of the prostate following early diagnosis of prostate cancer. In fact, studies suggest that da Vinci Prostatectomy might be the most effective, least invasive prostate surgery performed today. The surgery is performed with the assistance of the latest evolution in robotics technology, enabling the surgeon to operate with unmatched precision and control using only a few small incisions. For more information, visit our section on da Vinci surgery.
- Respiratory Gating
Respiratory Gating is a technique for making cancer treatments more accurate and effective by adjusting for tumor movements caused by breathing. This allows the radiation beam to turn on only when the tumor falls within the planned treatment field. This image shows the computer tracking breathing motion. The rectangles note when the treatment beam is on and the wave is the patient’s breathing cycle.
- Ultrasound Verification Positioning System
An ultrasound verification positioning system is used with IMRT in the radiation treatment of prostate cancer. The ultrasound verification is used daily before treatment to increase the accurate location of the prostate gland. This compensates for prostate movement due to daily distention of the bladder and rectum, decreasing the amount of healthy tissue irradiated.
- Automatic Field Sequencing (AFS)
The Automatic Field Sequencing (AFS) capability on our medical linear accelerators is an advancement in efficient and intelligent radiation therapy, allowing the accelerator to deliver multiple-beam radiation treatments faster then ever before.
- Endobronchial Implants
Endobronchial implants can be used to treat most lung tumors seen in the airways using bronchoscopy. A thin plastic tube is placed down the nose into the diseased airway passage of the lung. The bronchoscope is removed, but the thin tube stays in place for about two days, while radiation treatment is given through the tube. Since the tube is lying against the cancer, this in effect treats the cancer from the inside-out.
- Intracavity Gynecologic Radiation Treatment Using GYN Implants
Intracavity gynecologic radiation treatment using GYN implants is often done to prevent local recurrence of endometrial cancer after the uterus has been surgically removed. An applicator is surgically placed in the patient and small tubes containing radiation are placed in the applicator. Once the prescribed radiation dose has been achieved, usually two to four days, the applicator and tubes are removed.
- Multi-Modality Image Fusion
Multi-modality image fusion is the ability to digitally combine images such as MRI, MRA, CT, PET, and SPECT. The combined images provide the physician with a clearer picture of the position and extent of the tumor or target area as a patient’s radiation treatment is planned.
- Millennium Multileaf Collimator (for Linear Accelerator)
The Linear Accelerator features a Millennium multileaf collimator, capable of delivering the highest resolution of any treatment possible. It is ideal for small, curved tumor treatment fields. With it, radiation oncologists can more precisely "sculpt" radiation beams to closely represent these curved fields.
- Seed Implant Treatment
In seed implant treatment, tiny radioactive seeds about the size of a grain of rice are placed directly into the prostate using needles guided by medical imaging (usually ultrasound). Rows of seeds are placed uniformly throughout the prostate so the radiation covers the entire gland. The seeds gradually release radiation over 6 to 12 months. After that time, they lose radioactivity and can safely remain in the prostate for the rest of the patient’s life.
© 2000 Seattle Prostate Institute, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
- 3-D Conformal Computer Planning
3-D Conformal Computer Planning is used to accurately determine the position of tumors in relation to healthy tissues and organs. Three-dimensional information about the patient’s anatomy in treatment planning improves both the precision and accuracy in targeting radiation to the cancer. These images show the 3-D position of a brain tumor.
- Stereotactic Radiosurgery (InterFix)
Stereotactic radiosurgery is a new treatment that has the potential to prolong, or save the lives of many patients with brain lesions, or tumors. The procedure combines the technologies of the TomoTherapy Hi•Art System® and the Radionics InterFix Radiosurgery Kit. The InterFix equipment immobilizes a patient, while doctors use TomoTherapy to deliver radiation that conforms to the tumor(s) unlike any other form of radiation therapy.