Penn State Health St. Joseph Cancer Center in Bern Township has unveiled its new $5.5 million, 2,400-square-foot addition, which includes a state-of-the-art TrueBeam linear accelerator that the health center said will improve patient care and comfort.
Dr. Navesh Sharma, chief of radiation oncology at the center, said the TrueBeam linear accelerator will help doctors better track and target tumors for treatment. That means shorter treatments and more comfort, as well as fewer, side effects, since less healthy tissue will be exposed to the radiation.
Dr. Marc Rovito, medical director for the cancer center, said the new technology will also allow staff to care for patients locally who may have had to travel to other areas to find such treatment.
Rovito said St. Joseph showed that it had both a need for such technology and the expertise to use it to the benefit of patients.
“Investments in expanding services and innovative technology like TrueBeam serve as a prime example of what it means for St. Joseph to be a part of Penn State Health,” said John Morahan, president of Penn State Health St. Joseph. “Investments like these further establish the capabilities of the full-service cancer program at St. Joseph and ensure our patients have direct access to the enhanced capabilities of the Penn State Cancer Institute in Hershey.”
Sharma said the cancer center has already begun using the technology for certain treatments.
“The platform is complex so we’re only using portions of it. We will escalate to complete functionality within the next several months,” he said.