Sentara Healthcare has won final state approval for mobile PET/CT imaging at four Sentara hospitals to enhance the effectiveness of cancer treatment through improved monitoring of tumors.
The coach-mounted Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Computed Tomography (CT) unit will be used not only at Sentara Williamsburg Community Hospital, Sentara CarePlex in Hampton, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital, but also at the two free-standing integrated cancer centers operated in partnership with Virginia Oncology Associates and Sentara at the Lake Wright Center in Norfolk and Sentaras Princess Anne campus in Virginia Beach.
Patients benefit from state-of-the-art imaging
"The benefits to the patient from this state-of-the-art technology are outstanding and remarkable," says Bruce W. Booth, M.D., a medical oncologist with Virginia Oncology Associates Williamsburg clinic. "More accurate treatment and better monitoring will improve patients chances for good outcomes and avoid unnecessary procedures." Booth adds.
"PET/CT imaging also provides early detection of the recurrence of cancer, revealing tumors that may not be detected due to scarring from surgery and radiation therapy, especially in the head and neck," Booth concludes.
PET/CT scanning leads to adjustments in treatment in up to 40% of patients, thus improving their chances for survival, he said.
Mobile PET/CT offers patients more choices
"Adding this superior technology at the hospital and community-based centers will ensure that comprehensive cancer care is available throughout the region," says Mark Szalwinski, Vice President of Sentara Healthcare. "It offers our patients more options for treatment."
Sentara Healthcare and Virginia Oncology Associates are already in the process of acquiring the mobile PET/CT unit after winning state approval last February for its use at their free-standing cancer centers in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Applying it at the hospital treatment sites will improve the cost-effectiveness of this significant investment in technology to enhance patient care.
The unit is expected to be on the road, serving patients in the entire region by April.