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St. Helena Hospital First Hospital in Napa Valley to Offer “GPS for the Body” For Prostate Cancer Patients



Michelle Van Hoff                 

St. Helena Hospital                                                                


St. Helena Hospital First Hospital in Napa Valley to Offer “GPS for the Body”

For Prostate Cancer Patients
Cutting-edge technology clinically proven to reduce side effects

St. Helena, Calf. — July 18, 2011— The Martin-O’Neil Cancer Center (MOCC) at St. Helena Hospital Napa Valley today announced that it is the first hospital in the North Bay to offer prostate cancer patients the breakthrough benefits of real-time tumor tracking during external beam radiation with the Calypso System®. This state-of-the-art technology, also referred to as GPS for the Body®, may lead to reduced side-effects by enabling physicians to more accurately deliver radiation to the tumor while minimizing exposure to the healthy tissue and organs surrounding the prostate.

“Like many of the organs in our body, the prostate gland is constantly moving. Calypso's technology provides accurate, precise, real-time tracking to keep radiation focused on the tumor, not surrounding healthy tissue.  We are more confident that the radiation is getting to the prostate and avoiding the bladder and bowel,” said David Tate, M.D., Radiation Oncologist at MOCC. “This improved accuracy, says Stephen Banks, MD, a Radiation Oncologist at the Martin-O’Neil Cancer Center, has now been demonstrated in a clinical trial called the “Assessing the Impact of Margin Reduction (AIM)”published in the 2010 May issue of Urology, which showed a significant reduction in radiation-related side effects in patients receiving IMRT on the Calypso system as compared with those treated with IMRT without Calypso technology.  We are committed to providing our patients with state-of-the-art treatments to maintain or improve quality of life.”  

The Calypso System, with its GPS for the Body® technology, utilizes miniature implanted Beacon® transponders to provide precise, continuous information on the location of the tumor during external beam radiation therapy. Any movement by the patient, including internal movement of the tumor, may cause the radiation to miss its intended target and hit adjacent healthy tissue. In contrast to other tumor targeting solutions, the Calypso System provides real-time tumor position information, thereby allowing physicians to deliver radiation directly to the tumor while sparing the surrounding healthy organs from exposure. In contrast to other guidance techniques, Calypso’s electromagnetic technology is the only non-ionizing guidance solution to keep the treatment precisely focused on the prostate or post-operative prostatic bed without adding unnecessary radiation. 

Built in 2009, MOCC is a resource for complete, personalized, compassionate cancer care. MOCC utilizes a team approach to treating cancer in one convenient location with the most advanced technology available. MOCC’s access to clinical trials is bolstered by our unique affiliation with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), a Top 10 cancer research facility and one of just three facilities in northern California designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by NCI.

About St. Helena Hospital: With its many innovative wellness programs and other top quality health care services, including the Martin-O’Neil Cancer Center and Coon Joint Replacement Institute, St. Helena Hospital is one of the nation’s premier health care destinations. The hospital serves its local communities with comprehensive medical care, including cancer, cardiovascular and behavioral health.