In 1971, President Richard Nixon declared war on cancer; 45 years later, Vice President Joe Biden called for a “moon shot” effort to cure the disease after it took the life of his son Beau. Despite decades of research and efforts, cancer is still the No. 2 cause of death in the United States.
Peninsula Regional Medical Center is among the many cancer treatment centers on the front lines of that war; close to 1,400 new cases are diagnosed at PRMC’s Richard A. Henson Cancer Institute in 2014. Recently Peninsula Regional became the first hospital in the nation to install the SagiNova, a radiation treatment system aimed at delivering the safest doses of radiation straight to the tumor.
SagiNova was created by Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG, Inc., a Germany-based company. “We were extremely impressed with the advanced technology and safety features incorporated into their HDR system,” said John Mansueti, MD, Medical Director of Radiation Oncology at PRMC. “We are excited to be the first in the United States to offer this system.”
The system offers greater radiation dosage control and safety when using brachytherapy, a cancer treatment in which radioactive implants are inserted in the affected area. It issues warnings if, for example, radiation dose limits are exceeded near the bladder, to help doctors ensure that healthy organs and functions are protected while the radiation combats the cancer.
In the ongoing war on cancer, the hope is to one day defeat it before it even starts; in the meantime, people on Delmarva who have to fight cancer need the best tools they can get in the battle against this disease.