AUSTIN, Texas – (Dec. 7, 2012) – Austin Cancer Centers, a partner with the Austin CyberKnife radiosurgery program at University Medical Center Brackenridge, has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in radiation oncology by the American College of Radiology (ACR).
Austin Cancer Centers is the only cancer center in Central Texas to achieve this prestigious designation. The ACR is a national professional organization serving more than 36,000 diagnostic/interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology and the delivery of comprehensive health care services.
Radiation oncology (radiation therapy) employs the careful use of high-energy radiation to treat cancer.
“We are extremely proud of this designation as it represents a national benchmark for adhering to the safest standards in radiation oncology,” said Dr. Stephen Brown, Austin Cancer Centers’ medical director.
The ACR seal of accreditation represents the highest level of quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting specific practice guidelines and technical standards developed by ACR after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified radiation oncologists and medical physicists who are experts in the field.
Patient care and treatment, patient safety, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures and quality assurance programs are assessed. The findings are reported to the ACR Committee on Radiation Oncology Accreditation, which subsequently provides the practice with a comprehensive report they can use for continuous practice improvement.
“Austin Cancer Centers follows two principles: provide patients the highest standard of care, and do it with the utmost compassion and dedication. This seal of accreditation is simply another manifestation of quality care for our patients,” said Dr. Douglas J. Rivera, Austin Cyberknife medical director.
Austin CyberKnife uses a compact linear accelerator (LINAC) mounted on a robotic arm to deliver concentrated beams of radiation to the targeted tumor from multiple positions and angles. Through the use of image-guidance cameras, the CyberKnife system locates the tumor in the body and uses its robotic arm to deliver highly focused beams of radiation that converge at the tumor.
Thus, the tumor receives a cumulative dose of radiation high enough to control or kill tumor cells while minimizing radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissue. CyberKnife is the only system available that can also compensate for patient movement to ensure highly accurate delivery of radiation during treatment.
Because of its high precision and accuracy, Austin CyberKnife can noninvasively achieve a surgical-like outcome for lesions in the body. The CyberKnife is the first and only commercial application of robotic stereotactic radiosurgery for the spine, the spinal cord and other lesions throughout the body.
The patient lies on a table and wears a custom-fit mesh facemask or body immobilizer while the robotic arm controls the linear accelerator and delivers the radiation. Most treatments typically last 30 to 60 minutes per lesion, after which the patient can get up and go home.