Cancer Latest: Radiation Machine With Built-in CT Scan

New State Of The Art Machine Can Help Cancer Patients

A medical breakthrough in radiation machines is helping doctors better fight tumors in patients, patients like 17 year old Jonathan Barboza.

"I had a lump on the side of my neck and it just kept growing," said Barboza.

Barboza was play wrestling with his brother one day, when he found the lump. That lump turned out to be cancer.

"It was something that I couldn't believe. Guess I had to deal with it," said Barboza.

Barboza was diagnosed with cancer in 2006. He went through radiation and chemo treatments. The tumor was gone for a while, then it came back in October of 2007.

"Initially he had a tumor behind the nose and in the neck, but now the tumor come back in the neck," said assistant professor at University of Colorado Cancer Center Dr. Arthur Liu.

Doctor Liu decided to use a state of the art radiation machine with a built-in CT scan for Barboza's cancer.

"This CT scan allows me to both verify Jonathan's position in respect to how I plant the radiation and monitor response during radiation treatment," said Dr. Liu.

Dr. Liu said unlike the traditional system where doctors would have an idea of the general area where the tumor might be, this new radiation machine is more specific and detailed. Before, doctors would end up killing not only bad cells but good cells while trying to get rid of the tumor. Now that doctors can see how the tumor has changed during treatment, the new machine can help target the tumor better.

UCCC has used this machine for about four months.

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