Radiation oncologists at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) are now using the latest Varian RapidArc® Radiosurgery TrueBeam™ STx system – a highly precise, faster and noninvasive way of excising tumors using carefully shaped high-energy X-ray beams.
RapidArc treatment is delivered with a single 360-degree rotation of the linear accelerator, which takes less than two minutes – two to eight times faster than other radiosurgery systems. The increased speed of the treatment is a benefit to both the patient and the doctors. Shorter treatments improve patient comfort who must remain completely still during the procedure. It also reduces anxiety from longer treatment sessions.
Since a patient spends less time holding still, it will be easier to avoid movements that could compromise the accuracy of the treatment.
“This technology is amazingly accurate,” says Pauling Chang, M.D., a radiation oncologist at PAMF for 13 years, who practices at the Palo Alto Center. “It allows us to treat tumors not easily accessible with traditional surgery, anywhere in the body, including delicate and hard-to-reach places like the brain, spine, liver or lungs. It is wonderful to see patients undergo this radiotherapy then get up and say, ‘That was it?’ then go on with their day.”
The Palo Alto Medical Foundation received the highest recognition – Elite Status of four stars – from the California Association of Physician Groups (CAPG) in its 7th Annual Standards of Excellence Survey in June 2013. The voluntary survey assesses how well California medical groups meet the expectations of health care purchasers and patients. It focuses on tools and processes that improve affordability and patient experience.
Six physician groups in the Sutter Health medical network received top honors from CAPG in its annual Standards of Excellence Survey:
Elite Status (4 stars—highest recognition)
- Palo Alto Medical Foundation
- Brown and Toland Physicians
- Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation
- Sutter Medical Foundation