Peninsula Regional Medical Center - Part of Peninusula Regional Health System

Trilogy Linear Accelerator

Advanced Options, Greater Hope.  Richard A. Henson Cancer Institute's Trilogy System

Every physician hopes to see cancer transformed from an often terminal disease into a more manageable condition. With the Richard A. Henson Cancer Institute's introduction of the world's most advanced linear accelerator, the Varian Trilogy System, that hope is closer to reality.

Trilogy is installed, quality tested and ready to serve physicians and their patients in ways unimagined just a few years ago. The Varian Trilogy System allows radiation oncologists to treat patients with versatile options and pinpoint accuracies. This revolutionary Trilogy technology is available in the state of Maryland only at the Richard A. Henson Cancer Institute and the University of Maryland Hospital.

Trilogy combines new image-guidance technology, focusing on a tumor at the precise moment of treatment, with the most accurate radiation beam available. What separates the Trilogy system from all other systems and what makes it so incredibly important in cancer care is that it enables the most appropriate modality for treating head, neck or body cancers to be chosen from a single machine, in one single room and with precise and unprecedented sub-millimeter accuracy.  The system's intensity-modulated beam delivery results in a distributed dose that matches the 3D shape of the target, including tumors with complex shapes. The result is more precise treatments, with minimal injury to surrounding tissues. 

Throughout the medical world, cancer treatment specialists have praised the unprecedented versatility of the Trilogy system.  Whether a patient's cancer occurs in the brain or in other parts of the body, the new linear accelerator increases the treatment options available to the patient.  It can be used to deliver traditional radiation therapy in daily doses over weeks. It can also be used to treat lesions within the brain with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in a single treatment, as well as stereotactic body radiation therapy over an interval of days.  Further capabilities include intensity modulated radiation therapy, 3D conformal radiotherapy, and fractionated stereotactic radiation therapy.

The Trilogy can be used to treat any type of cancer in almost any part of the body.  More common cancers such as those of the breast, lung and prostate can be treated more accurately and potentially to higher doses which we hope will result in higher cure rates. Of equal importance, the Trilogy system can target with high specificity a tumor that lies problematically close to the spinal cord, optic nerves, brainstem, skull base and other critical organs. This unparalleled accuracy can lead not just to better outcomes but also to greater efficiencies, shorter hospital stays and reduced risk of complications.

"Our goal with Trilogy is to put a cost-effective tool into the community which allows our doctors and our cancer team to adopt the most appropriate approach to treating each of their patients," added Peggy Naleppa, Peninsula Regional Medical Center President/CEO.  "We're extremely gratified to see this happening in the Richard A. Henson Cancer Institute and honored to be one of the first centers in the nation to offer this revolutionary treatment technology."

Among the technological innovations that come with the system is "respiratory gating," which tracks the position of a tumor in sync with a patient's breathing, turning the radiation off and on to compensate for motions of inhalation and exhalation.  The technology enables a physician to choose exactly the right moment to target a tumor, allowing increases to radiation doses while protecting healthy tissues.  "It's very exciting to see leading treatment centers, such as Peninsula Regional Medical Center's Richard A. Henson Cancer Institute, implementing advanced image-guidance and stereotactic treatments for improving the quality of cancer care for their patients," said Dow Wilson, president of oncology systems and executive vice president of Varian Medical Systems.

The new linear accelerator also helps to allay physicians' concerns for patients who are advanced in years, fragile, or in pain. It delivers its radiation doses at least 60 percent faster than conventional accelerators, thereby shortening the length of time patients spend undergoing treatment, in some cases by nearly 75%.

To learn more about Trilogy, please call the Richard A. Henson Cancer Institute at Peninsula Regional Medical Center at 410-543-7006 or 1-866-9CANCER (922-6237).