Steward Centers for Cancer CareCancer CareAdvanced Technology and Treatments

Advanced Technology and Treatments

Offering state-of-the art technology and advanced cancer therapies is a priority at Steward® Centers for Cancer Care. From robotic assisted surgery to high precision radiation treatments, our specialists are continually exploring and testing the latest, cutting edge technology and treatments. The technologies, along with high standards of care, provided by our Massachusetts cancer centers rivals the most well respected cancer centers in the country.

Our state-of-the-art-technology to diagnosis and treat different types of cancer includes:

  • 3D mammography offered at Norwood Hospital and St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center
  • The da Vinci® Surgical System
  • PET/CT Imaging
  • MRI, including breast, prostate, and advanced neuroimaging
  • 64-slice CT scanner
  • 256-slice CT scanner
  • Radiation oncology linear accelerator

We offer the following advanced therapies:

  • Chemoembolization is a combination of local delivery of chemotherapy and a procedure called embolization to treat cancer, most often of the liver. In chemoembolization, anti-cancer drugs are injected directly into the blood vessel feeding a cancerous tumor. In addition, synthetic material called an embolic agent is placed inside the blood vessels that supply blood to the tumor, in effect trapping the chemotherapy in the tumor. Chemoembolization is offered at Morton Hospital
  • Cryoablation, also known as percutaneous ablation, is a minimally invasive treatment for people who need supportive care, are at high risk for surgical complications, or whose tumors cannot be removed by surgery. Cryoablation kills cancer cells by freezing them to subzero temperatures. An insulated thin, wand-like device (cryoprobe) is inserted through the skin and into the tumor. The cryoprobe releases argon gas to freeze and destroy the tumor. General anesthesia is usually given during the short treatment session. The most common application of cryoablation is to ablate solid tumors found in the lung, liver, breast, kidney and prostate.
  • High-dose rate radiation therapy can deliver high doses of radiation in a short time (approximately ten minutes) with minimal risk to nearby organs. A computer-controlled tiny radioactive source is placed inside the body near the site of the cancer. CT scanning is used to plan a safe and accurate treatment. This technique is most commonly used for cancers of the head and neck, breast, uterus, thyroid, cervix, and prostate. High-dose rate radiation therapy is offered at Holy Family HospitalSaint Anne's Hospital and St. Elizabeth's Medical Center.
  • Image guided radiation therapy (IGRT) is a highly sophisticated technology used to treat tumors in organs that move when you breathe, like the lung or liver. The technology allows the radiation oncologist to monitor the exact tumor location and adjust for changes during treatment, minimizing radiation exposure to healthy tissues. IGRT is offered at Good Samaritan Medical CenterHoly Family Hospital and Saint Anne's Hospital.
  • Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) allows doctors to customize the radiation dose by varying the amount of radiation given to different parts of the treatment area. This is done in highly accurate, three-dimensional detail, according to the shape, size, and location of the tumor, and helps minimize radiation exposure to normal surrounding organs. It is used in the treatment of cancers of the brain, head and neck, lung, pelvic region, and other sites. IMRT is offered at Good Samaritan Medical Center, Holy Family Hospital, Norwood Hospital, Saint Anne's Hospital and St. Elizabeth's Medical Center.
  • Radioactive prostate seed implant therapy allows radiation oncologists, in partnership with urologists, to place 50 to 100 seeds (each smaller than a grain of rice) inside the cancerous area of the prostate, which eliminates major surgery. The procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis under spinal or general anesthesia, and most patients resume normal activity within a few days. Radioactive prostate seed implant therapy is offered at Holy Family HospitalSaint Anne's Hospital and St. Elizabeth's Medical Center.
  • Radioembolization is a type of radiation therapy used to treat liver cancer that is advanced or has come back. Tiny beads that hold the radioisotope yttrium Y 90 are injected into the hepatic artery (the main blood vessel that carries blood to the liver). The beads collect in the tumor and the yttrium Y 90 gives off radiation. This destroys the blood vessels that the tumor needs to grow and kills the cancer cells. Radioembolization is a type of selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT).
  • Radiofrequency ablation uses a special probe with tiny electrodes that is placed inside the tumor. Sometimes the probe is inserted directly through the skin and only local anesthesia is needed. In other cases, the probe is inserted through an incision in the abdomen. This is done in the hospital with general anesthesia. Once inserted, radiofrequency waves pass through the probe and increase the temperature within the tumor tissue that results in destruction of the tumor. Radiofrequency ablation is used in the treatment of lung, kidney, breast, bone and liver cancers. 
  • Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) uses the same principles as stereotactic radiosurgery for the brain, but on other areas of the body. Using advanced radiation-delivery equipment combined with imaging technology, the tumor can be monitored at all times during treatment, and high doses of radiation can be delivered with pinpoint accuracy. SBRT can be used to treat certain types of lung tumors that cannot be removed safely with surgery, and it is also highly effective on tumors in the liver and spine. SBRT is offered at Holy Family HospitalSaint Anne's Hospital and St. Elizabeth's Medical Center.
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is an advanced, non-invasive cancer treatment that uses a single high dose of external radiation that conforms exactly to a tumor or lesion. It differs from other external radiation therapy in that it is administered in one large dose, rather than multiple smaller doses over a period of days or weeks. Designed to treat brain, neurological and other medically inoperable tumors, stereotactic radiosurgery is especially valuable for its precision, speed, flexibility, and patient friendliness. SRS does not require anesthesia or invasive surgery. SRS is offered at Holy Family Hospital and Saint Anne's Hospital.
  • Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT) - Before a patient's therapy can begin, a team of radiation physicists works with the physicians to develop a treatment plan. This plan is a complex set of instructions which is given to the linear accelerator (the radiation producing machine). It is designed to direct radiation to the cancerous cells while simultaneously protecting healthy tissues and organs. A three-dimensional image of the tumor is made and used to program the radiation beams to "conform" to the shape of the tumor. Higher doses of radiation can be used because the normal tissues surrounding the tumor are largely avoided. The 3D-CRT method permits the treatment of tumors that might be considered too close to vital organs to treat with conventional radiation therapy. This plan is then carried out with great precision each day of the patient's treatment. 3D-CRT is offered at Good Samaritan Medical Center, Holy Family Hospital, Saint Anne's Hospital and St. Elizabeth's Medical Center.

 


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