SVRCC Offers a New Treatment for Brain Tumors
/ Categories: NEWS, 2019

SVRCC Offers a New Treatment for Brain Tumors

BENNINGTON, VT—July 25, 2019—Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center (SVRCC), part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) and Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), is now offering a new treatment for those with metastatic cancer: hippocampal sparing radiation. The new option decreases side effects for patients whose cancer has spread to their brains.

Typically, patients would undergo radiation to their entire brain, which slows cancer growth and alleviates symptoms of metastatic brain cancer. But radiation to the hippocampi, the portions of the brain responsible for memory, causes patients to have problems with thinking and formation of short-term memory. The new capability at the Cancer Center allows physicians to spare the hippocampi and avoid these side effects.

“Emerging clinical studies are showing that we can safely spare these areas from treatment, as long as there is no detectable tumor too nearby,” said Matthew Vernon, MD, the Cancer Center’s radiation oncologist. “We still achieve very high tumor control, and we spare the patients the negative cognitive changes to a much greater extent.”

Vernon continued, “The linear accelerator needed to provide this advanced treatment is state of the art, and we are so happy to have both the technology and the expertise right here for local patients.”

SVRCC is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, a distinction granted to only the top 25 percent of cancer centers nationwide. Care is enhanced through an affiliation with the Dartmouth-Hitchcock, home of one of only three National Cancer Institute-Designated comprehensive cancer centers in New England. The partnership with Dartmouth-Hitchcock, along with SVMC’s investments, provides patients with access to advanced specialty services, including genetic counseling, clinical trials, sophisticated imaging and treatment technologies, and Telemedicine. For more information, call (802) 447-1836 or visit

About SVHC:
Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) is a comprehensive, preeminent, health care system providing exceptional, convenient, and affordable care to the communities of Bennington and Windham Counties of Vermont, eastern Rensselaer and Washington Counties of New York, and northern Berkshire County in Massachusetts. SVHC includes Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center, the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, and the SVHC Foundation. SVMC includes 25 primary and specialty care practices. For more information, visit

Southwestern Vermont Health Care complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. Language assistance services, free of charge, are available at 1-800-367-9559.

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