Saint Michael's Unveils Latest Tool in Fight Against Cancer

Saint Michael's Unveils Latest Tool in Fight Against Cancer


The Cancer Center at Saint Michael's Medical Center in Newark unveiled its latest tool in the fight against cancer: a top-of-the-line Varian TrueBeam linear accelerator that delivers radiation therapy much more accurately than other devices.

With the addition of the new LINAC, Saint Michael's now offers the most advanced cancer treatment in the greater Newark area.

"We have what I consider the best technology for treating cancer in this area," said Dr. Shravan Kambam, the medical director of Radiation Oncology at Saint Michael's. "This machine can do what our old machine and other machines in the area cannot do in being able to deliver higher doses of radiation much more quickly, conformally, and accurately."

The TrueBeam is a linear accelerator capable of delivering high doses of radiation that kill cancer cells of all types, including prostate, lung, brain and breast.

What makes the device so sophisticated is that it can deliver radiation within a millimeter of accuracy.

Dr. Kambam said the device will allow Saint Michael's to perform stereotactic radiation therapy, which can target very small tumors in the brain and early lung cancers with much higher doses of radiation while sparing nearby healthy organs and tissue.

The TrueBeam also has a built in imaging capabilities that allows doctors to capture a CT scan of the treatment area to see whether the tumor has shifted before actually delivering radiation.

"This allows us to be more precise and accurate in our treatments," Kambam said.

The TrueBeam is just the latest in a series of upgrades undertaken by the 358-bed hospital since it was purchased by Prime Healthcare in May 2016, after a protracted approval period by the state that forced the hospital to seek bankruptcy protection.

Since then, the hospital has made a full recovery, investing more than $21 million in medical equipment and upgrades, including new monitoring devices throughout the hospital, upgraded cardiac catheterization laboratories and new systems for electronic health care records.

"The TrueBeam is the latest and greatest and we should be proud of our technology," Saint Michael's CEO Robert Iannaccone said. "But we are equally proud of our people who deliver the quality care to our patients every day."

Learn more about the Cancer Center at Saint Michael's.

Read more coverage in The Newark Patch.

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