Hackensack Meridian Health’s John Theurer Cancer Center Offers Breakthrough Treatment for Early and Late-stage Cancer

Hackensack Meridian Health’s John Theurer Cancer Center is the first in New Jersey to install the groundbreaking RefleXion® X1 machine with SCINTIX® biology-guided radiotherapy (BgRT), a breakthrough new treatment for patients with lung and bone tumors. These tumors could result from primary lung or bone cancers, or be the result of metastases to the lungs or bone from other primary cancers.

“We continue to lead the way in delivering tomorrow’s cures today for our patients,’’ said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, Chief Executive Officer of Hackensack Meridian Health. “This is further evidence of our commitment to innovation that is changing lives and giving hope to so many patients and their families.’’

“This is a real game-changer in cancer treatment and we are so pleased to be able to offer this new form of treatment to our patients, even in some of our most challenging cases,” said Mark D. Sparta, FACHE, President & Chief Hospital Executive, Hackensack University Medical Center and President, North Region, Hackensack Meridian Health. “Investing in an advanced technology, like this, reaffirms our commitment to providing our patients with the most cutting-edge technology available worldwide.”

“This technology is unprecedented as there is no need for marking tumors (called fiducials) because the radiation machine tracks the PET CT results live allowing to treat 16 mets in 2 hours and adjusting based on response,” said Andre Goy, M.D., M.S., chairman and executive director of John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center. “This appears to be a game changer in radiation and will help develop new combinations with chemotherapy and more importantly with immunotherapy, only a handful of centers will offer this nationwide.”

SCINTIX technology is the first to utilize the unique biology of the cancer itself to guide radiotherapy delivery, even in tumors that are moving. For the first time, a radiotherapy machine comprises a combination of PET (positron-emission tomography) imaging technology—the gold standard for cancer staging and imaging—with a linear accelerator (LINAC) to deliver a radiation dose that tracks the cancer’s motion.

Just before treatment, a patient is injected with a radiopharmaceutical called FDG comprised primarily of glucose (sugar) to interact with cancer cells to produce signals or emissions. The X1 machine constructs a map from the detected emissions data that controls where the radiation is delivered. The machine rotates at a speed of 60 revolutions per minute to position the LINAC to deliver a beamlet of radiation based on those data. The X1 machine with SCINTIX therapy is designed to potentially treat multiple tumors in the same treatment day while sparing healthy tissue.

“It’s a more sophisticated and effective treatment option,” says Adnan Danish,  the director of the biologically guided radiation therapy program at the John Theurer Cancer Center and Chief of Radiation Oncology at St. Joseph’s Health, in partnership with Hackensack Meridian.  “SCINTIX technology is a departure from current technology, which has required each individual tumor to have its own complicated solution for managing motion and uncertainty. Because of this complexity, going beyond a couple of tumors has not been feasible in most cases.”

[Press Release]

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