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Kentucky Lung Cancer Patients Have New Technology at Their Disposal

Dr. Neal Dunlap and the TruBeam radiation machine
Dr. Neal Dunlap and the TruBeam radiation machine

New technology being unveiled in Louisville will offer faster and more accurate treatment for lung cancer patients. The TrueBeam machine allows doctors to deliver radiation more accurately to tumors in the lungs. University of Louisville radiation oncologist Dr. Neal Dunlap says TrueBeam offers two ways for doctors to more accurately see what's going on inside a cancer patient.

The first is through a CAT scan inside the machine.

"And the second way is by doing an x-ray imaging, where you can basically see a tumor moving inside a person's body," said Dr. Dunlap. "As you go through the treatment, you can actually do real-time imaging to see how this tumor is moving throughout the treatment, so that you hit the tumor every time when you're delivering the radiation."

Dr. Dunlap says oncologists have had the ability to hit tumors with radiation fairly accurately before. But he says TrueBeam allows for pinpoint precision when radiation is delivered, which helps if tumors develop into unusual shapes.

Patients using TrueBeam lie on a table and have an infrared camera placed on their chest that allows doctors to see the tumors inside the patient's lungs.

The James Graham Brown Cancer Center has identified the first eligible patient for the new radiation technology, and hopes to begin treatment in March.



Kevin is the News Director at WKU Public Radio. He has been with the station since 1999, and was previously the Assistant News Director, and also served as local host of Morning Edition.
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