Jeff Anderson Regional Cancer Center announced it has a new tool in the fight against certain cancers. Specifically designed to target cancers in the chest, such as lung or breast cancer, respiratory gating, may be the answer for those previously thought to be untreatable.
"What this allows us to do is to focus the radiation very tightly and treat only during a very specific phase of the respiration," said Dr. Scott Anderson, "allowing us to treat people that are otherwise untreatable."
By treating the cancer cells during the exhaled phase of respiration, respiratory gating reduces the amount of healthy tissue damaged by radiation. It avoids any further reduction in lung capacity.
"It allows us to minimize the amount of healthy tissue that is radiated,"
This new treatment will be a new source of hope for those with advanced stages of lung or breast cancer.
Unfortunately, respiratory gating is only available in a handful of treatment centers around the country. Fortunately for residents of east Mississippi and west Alabama, it is available in Meridian.
"And any time you can give hope to somebody who had no hope before, I think it is worth implementing the technology," said Dr. Anderson.