Advances Being Made in Cancer Treatments

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

The Anderson Cancer Center in Meridian says it's continuing to look for ways to improve treatment and quality of life for cancer patients.

"We want to stay, not where the rest of the country is, but we want to stay a center that people consider a resource, outstanding, that they can come here and they are at one of the really advanced thought processes in the world," said Dr. Scott Anderson.

Anderson says the staff is constantly looking for the newest technologies to create the best possible quality of life for patients while treating their cancer. The first advancement involves arc beam technology.

"Two of the newest things that are coming out on radiation oncology nationally at the current time are intensity-modulated heart therapies that are using a moving arc beam that then has the modifying agents sliding in and out of the beam, so that it's like using a crayon and coloring in the target to the color you want it so it's nice and even," Anderson said.

Along with this advancement, Dr. Anderson says the center is making headway in how specific cancers are treated.

"Probably we are reaching a limit as for what we can do," said Anderson. "Technology, the next future of medicine, is going to involve sequencing of how we combine different chemo therapy agents, or agents in radiation for specific cancers. As we learn more and more about the genetic basis of cancers, we are finding out that different cancers respond differently to different sequencing, and so if we can arrive at the optimal sequencing for each patient's cancer, my gosh, what an advantage that will be."

But when it comes to this cancer center, it's the tight-knit group of physicians working together that may offer one of the greatest benefit to patients.

"We have that ability. We have that kind of thing where we can communicate, and that is part of the advantage," said Anderson. "We can communicate with all the doctors from all the different hospitals; we just have good interpersonal relationships with the different doctors and that is important. You can't over express how important that is."

We are approaching another of John Johnson's runs for cancer. He's running in the Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville, Ala., Dec. 12.

If you'd like to help local cancer patients by donating to John's run, you may click on the banner at the top of the home page for details of how to do that.

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