The Upstate Cancer Center will add an advanced treatment and imaging technology system designed to more safely deliver higher doses of radiation to tumors, thanks in part to a $250,000 donation from SEFCU, one of the nation’s 50 largest credit unions.
The donation will help purchase the $5.5 million Vero Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy system, which will be a therapeutic option for some cancer patients who have been deemed inoperable. Vero “integrates several state-of-the-art capabilities and technologies into one machine and is designed to locate tumors and direct radiation precisely where it is needed,” said Jeffrey Bogart, MD, who leads the Department of Radiation Oncology. Upstate will have only the third Vero in the United States. The system is used in several hospitals in Japan, Italy, France, Belgium and South Korea, plus Dallas, Texas and Jacksonville, Fla.
Bogart said Vero will allow for a more tightly focused beam of radiation, which is essential when aiming at a tumor that is located near critical structures such as the spinal cord. The system’s advanced imaging capabilities allows providers to locate and track tumors, confirm the location at any point in the treatment process and account for even slight anatomical movements that occur each time a patient takes a breath. Also, once patients are settled into place, they will not have to be moved because Vero allows for beam delivery from almost any angle.
“Upstate physicians already have extensive experience with stereotactic radiotherapy for complex tumors in both the body and the brain, and VERO will greatly add to our armamentarium of advanced technologies to help successfully battle cancer,” Bogart says.
SEFCU has branch locations in Syracuse and Cicero and dozens of other sites in Upstate New York. It has more than 230,000 members.