Penn State Health St. Joseph breaks ground on $5.5 mil­lion cancer cen­ter expansion

Northern Berks Patriot Item - - LOCAL NEWS - From Penn State Health

A new $5.5 mil­lion ad­di­tion to the Penn State Health St. Joseph Cancer Cen­ter to open by year’s end will of­fer peo­ple in the Berks re­gion faster, more tar­geted ra­di­a­tion treat­ments close to home.

Penn State Health St. Joseph lead­ers and staff and Penn State Health ex­ec­u­tives broke ground on the project April 4 in Bern Town­ship.

High­lights of the expansion in­clude a 2,400-square­foot ad­di­tion to ac­com­mo­date a grow­ing pa­tient base, as well as a new, state-ofthe-art TrueBeam lin­ear ac­cel­er­a­tor. This so­phis­ti­cated tech­nol­ogy will of­fer cancer pa­tients faster, more tar­geted ra­di­a­tion treat­ment that is more com­fort­able, more pre­cise and causes fewer side ef­fects.

“It’s the most ad­vanced ra­di­a­tion treat­ment tech­nol­ogy avail­able,” says Dr. Navesh Sharma, as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor of ra­di­ol­ogy and chief of ra­di­a­tion on­col­ogy for the St. Joseph Cancer Cen­ter. “This in­vest­ment en­ables us to of­fer our pa­tients the full scope of ra­di­a­tion on­col­ogy ser­vices right here in the Berks re­gion.”

St. Joseph Cancer Cen­ter pro­vides state-of-the-art cancer treat­ment, in­clud­ing ge­netic ed­u­ca­tion, coun­sel­ing and test­ing for peo­ple at high cancer risk, min­i­mally in­va­sive in­ter­nal ra­di­a­tion ther­apy for liver tu­mors and cut­ting-edge clin­i­cal tri­als re­search for new cancer treat­ments.

The hall­mark of the TrueBeam lin­ear ac­cel­er­a­tor tech­nol­ogy is a pow­er­ful com­bi­na­tion of 2D, 3D and 4D imag­ing that is up­dated ev­ery 10 mil­lisec­onds, mon­i­tors a pa­tient’s breath­ing and body move­ment and per­mits faster, more po­tent ra­di­a­tion doses di­rectly to a tu­mor site with­out dam­age to sur­round­ing tis­sue or nearby or­gans. St. Joseph Cancer physi­cians can tai­lor in­di­vid­u­al­ized treat­ment plans much more pre­cisely, which dras­ti­cally re­duces treat­ment time for pa­tients. Treat­ments also can be de­liv­ered more ef­fi­ciently in fewer—and shorter—treat­ment ses­sions.

“With this TrueBeam tech­nol­ogy, we have some ex­tremely so­phis­ti­cated tu­mor tracking and imag­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties,” says Karen Wag­ner, St. Joseph’s di­rec­tor of on­col­ogy ser­vices. “The real value of this tech­nol­ogy is that it will en­able St. Joseph to of­fer pa­tients op­tions that were pre­vi­ously un­avail­able here.”

Dr. Marc Rovito, assistant pro­fes­sor of medicine and med­i­cal di­rec­tor of St. Joseph Cancer Cen­ter, notes that Penn State Health’s in­vest­ment in the Berks County site il­lus­trates its com­mit­ment to pro­vid­ing the best of care to pa­tients.

“Cur­rently, these pa­tients have to go else­where for the TrueBeam treat­ment op­tion, but they will not in the fu­ture,” Rovito said. “Through Penn State Health providers, cancer pa­tients will have ac­cess to the in­cred­i­ble re­sources of a renowned univer­sity teach­ing and re­search hospi­tal while re­ceiv­ing high-qual­ity care close to home.”


Penn State Health St. Joseph breaks ground on $5.5 mil­lion cancer cen­ter expansion in Bern Town­ship. Pic­tured left to right, Karen Wag­ner, Di­rec­tor of On­col­ogy Ser­vices; Alan Brech­bill, Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent for Hospi­tal Op­er­a­tions, Penn State...

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