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Expanding Radiation Oncology Capabilities Make Cancer Treatments Faster Fewer

June 22, 2017

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. June 22, 2017 – Riverside Health System is now offering the latest in brachytherapy and linear accelerator technologies, giving patients more highly effective, minimally disruptive treatment. The new, highly precise radiation oncology offerings from Elekta make treatments quicker and more comfortable for patients while delivering excellent results.

Brachytherapy Cancer Treatment Delivers Radiation Safely, Effectively from the Inside Out

Available now in Riverside's Cancer Care Center in Newport News, brachytherapy is an advanced treatment in which a radioactive source is placed inside or near the tumor itself. This delivers a high radiation dose to the tumor while reducing the radiation exposure in the surrounding healthy tissues, reducing side effects and recovery times. The Greek term for short distance, "brachy," indicates this therapy's contrast to external beam radiation therapy (EBRT), which involves high-energy x-ray beams generated by a machine directed at the tumor from outside the body.

"Riverside remains committed to offering the very latest cancer care innovations for our patients, with treatment options that bring the most relief with the fewest possible side effects," said Ruth VanDavelaar, Director at Riverside Health System Radiation Oncology. "Our new brachytherapy offerings are a peRiverside Foundationect example of such innovations, complementing our other radiation oncology offerings that give people the treatment they need with minimal impact to their busy daily lives."

Riverside has specifically begun offering a new type of localized brachytherapy for certain types of skin cancer. Achieving positive results, Elekta brachytherapy also significantly reduces treatment times from the typical five days a week for four to six weeks, down to only six to 10 treatments over the course of two to three weeks. This appeals to older adults and other patients busy with jobs and families who often find it difficult to come in for treatments continuously for six weeks.

Brachytherapy treatment, delivered through a variety of specially designed applicators, can also be beneficial for endometrial, cervical and other cancers.

Riverside continues to invest in other noninvasive radiotherapy options that further extend its world-class oncology treatment portfolio and build on its vast professional expertise.

Further Extending Riverside's Portfolio of Modern Radiotherapy Capabilities

Opened in February 2017, the new Riverside Shore Cancer Center campus was equipped with an Elekta Infinity radiotherapy unit that pairs a poweRiverside Foundationul linear accelerator with the ability to visualize internal bodily structures, including soft tissues, in three dimensions at the time of treatment. By combining imaging and radiation delivery in a single system, Elekta Infinity provides unsurpassed accuracy to the treatment of tumors, lesions and malformations throughout the body.

Riverside operates a total of seven image-guided linear accelerator units in five departments across four locations –giving patients state-of-the-art radiotherapy care in their own community.

Elekta Infinity was also installed in Riverside's Walter Reed Hospital location in 2015, complementing the image-guided radiotherapy units already available in Riverside's other oncology service locations in Newport News and Williamsburg.

Pioneers in State-of-the-Art Treatment for Neurological Tumors

In addition to its brachytherapy and linear accelerators, Riverside also operates a stereotactic radiosurgery unit in its Newport News location –the Elekta Leksell Gamma Knife®.

Gamma Knife®surgery is recognized worldwide as the preferred treatment for certain types of brain surgery. The Gamma Knife®is a painless and noninvasive radiation device that delivers focused and highly accurate beams of radiation to the area of the brain requiring treatment. This safe and effective procedure offers new hope to cancer and neurological patients as an alternative to conventional brain surgery. To date, more than 850,000 patients have received Gamma Knife®treatments worldwide, at a rate of approximately 70,000 patients per year.

The Gamma Knife®housed at Riverside's Radiosurgery Center in Newport News is one of the most advanced forms of stereotactic radiosurgery in use today for brain surgery, including treatment of malignant and benign brain tumors as well as neurological disorders. Stereotactic refers to the use of an external, three-dimensional frame fixed directly to the patient or the use of image guidance technology.

Last year marked the 10th anniversary of the first Gamma Knife®radiosurgery procedure peRiverside Foundationormed in Riverside's Radiosurgery Center. Riverside installed the latest version of the unit, the Leksell Gamma Knife®PeRiverside Foundationexion™, in 2015, delivering even faster treatment planning and patient recovery times.  In a partnership with Chesapeake Regional Hospital and the University of Virginia, Riverside's Gamma Knife®unit is the foundation of a true Center of Excellence for radiosurgery and radiotherapy and a valuable health resource for the entire region.

In the Riverside Radiosurgery Center alone, physicians treated 1,440 patients with the Gamma Knife®and 2,195 patients with its stereotactic linear accelerator unit –totaling some 3,635 patients to date.

For more information on Riverside's complete cancer care services offering, visit riversideonline.com/cancer or call 757-534-5220.

About Riverside Cancer Care

Riverside Cancer Care offers a distinctive continuum of care provided by skilled and compassionate physicians and health care providers serving the Peninsula, Williamsburg, Middle Peninsula, Eastern Shore, Tappahannock and Southside communities in Virginia. Riverside Cancer Care has highly trained physicians and team members in radiation therapy and medical oncology who provide innovative and personalized cancer treatment. Embodying the Riverside Care Difference every day, Riverside treats patients and their families as those they love. Riverside is a not-for-profit health system and a philanthropic gifting destination. For more information, visit https://riversideonline.com/cancer.

About Riverside Health System

A regional leader in providing health care since 1916, Riverside Health System seeks to deliver care and services - as a team- by putting patients and residents at the center of all operations. Riverside, a 501-c3 non-profit, delivers a variety of health care services and programs in the areas of prevention, acute care, aging-related services, rehabilitation, ambulatory care, diagnostic care, education, and home care. Riverside Health System operates five acute care hospitals, a behavioral health facility, and the largest freestanding physical rehabilitation hospital in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Its extensive Medical Group includes more than 540 providers. Ambulatory centers bring diagnostic services, physical therapy, day surgery and other services to neighborhoods served by Riverside. The company employs more than 9,850 team members in offices throughout Virginia. Information about Riverside is available at https://riversideonline.com/.

For more information on Riverside, visit https://riversideonline.com or:

Natalie Groeger
Riverside Marketing Business Partner, Peninsula and Southside

[email protected]