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As reported by WTNH Channel 8, October 7, 2008.

Tomotherapy New Technology for Cancer

As medical technology evolves, more lives are being saved. Recently News Channel 8 went to UConn Health Center and found out how a revolutionary targeted treatment benefits cancer patients.

Patient Leslie Macleman is an engineer getting a behind the scenes look of the technology targeting her cancer at UConn's Neag Cancer Center.

"Five years ago, If I had gotten the same cancer, I don't think I'd be in the boat that I'm in right now because of new technology," Macleman said.

She was diagnosed with Cervical Cancer which had spread into lymphnodes in her abdomen. Radiology Oncologist Dr. Robert Dowsett recommended using Tomotherapy.

"Tomotherapy is a new technology, a completely redesigned treatment machine so that the radiation beam will come in from every angle, 360 degrees around a circle," Dr. Dowsett said.

The sophisticated tool is only available at UConn Health Center. It gets radiation into tight areas without damaging critical organs.

"Typically for this kind of sophistication, you want tumors that are difficult to get at because they are so close to normal structures," Dr. Dowsett said.

This is the final CT scan taken of Macleman's cancer.

"This is her last day of external beam treatment," Dr. Dowsett said. "And the mass itself is considerably smaller."

Dr. Dowsett said the biggest goal is prevention. "The goal is to try and cure all these cancers and really reduce the chance of having to really live with a chronic problem from radiation damage to smoke structure nearby."

"For the most part it's gone, except for a few lymph nodes they didn't remove surgically that were attached to my arteries. So, they are working on that with chemotherapy," Macleman said.

This is encouraging news for Macleman. "I'm looking forward to a long healthy life," she said.

Dr. Dowsett told News Channel 8 that the top three cancers to benefit from Tomotherapy are head and neck, prostate and brain.

He recommends patients do their homework to figure out which high tech procedure is best suited for their type of cancer.