SVRCC Offers a New Treatment for Primary Brain Cancer
Ashley Jowett
/ Categories: NEWS, 2019

SVRCC Offers a New Treatment for Primary Brain Cancer

BENNINGTON, VT—August 5, 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 primary brain cancer: tumor-treating fields. The new option provides an entirely new type of treatment for those with new or reoccurring Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), a type of malignant tumor that usually affects the brains of adults. SVRCC is the second center in the state, after University of Vermont Medical Center, to offer the treatment.

“In the past, we have had two major tools against these tumors following surgical removal: chemotherapy and radiation therapy,” explained Matthew Vernon, MD, the Cancer Center’s radiation oncologist. “This is an entirely new, third way to treat GBM.”

The new therapy is called tumor-treating fields. The patient wears a transducer array, similar to EKG stickers, on their head. The transducers generate an electric field that inhibits cell division and tumor growth.

The technology is recently FDA approved and is the first major advance against this type of cancer in 50 years, according to Vernon. It has been shown to increase survival rates by 12 percent after 2 years and 8 percent after 5 years compared to chemotherapy alone. Apart from mild skin irritation experienced by some patients, side effects are rare.

“We are very excited to bring this important new treatment to patients here,” Vernon said. “It shows great promise for the treatment of GBMs and, with more studies happening all the time, may soon be used to slow other cancers, as well.” 

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 svhealthcare.org/cancer.

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 svhealthcare.org.

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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