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Precision Matters: Active Breathing Coordinator

Precision Matters: Active Breathing Coordinator

SCCA Proton Therapy Center is dedicated to providing the best care to patients with cancer. Proton therapy can be a good choice for many solid tumors. Because of its precision, it can spare healthy tissue in the region of the tumor and therefore give higher, more effective doses of radiation. However, because proton therapy is so precise, the patient has to be accurately positioned to make sure the proton beam meets the exact target.

But what if the tumor can’t stay stationary long enough to receive the dose of protons? Tumors such as lung cancer and other thoracic and abdominal cancers tend to move when the patient breathes. To better control tumor movement and enable lung cancer patients and others to best benefit from proton therapy, SCCA Proton Therapy Center has become the first proton center in the United States to use an advanced breath-holding device that aids patients in their ability to control breathing during radiation treatment.

The Active Breathing Coordinator (ABC™) device assists patients with systematically holding their breath before or after they’ve breathed out. During this brief time, the ABC™ device makes the tumor a stationary target. Dr. Smith “Jim” Apisarnthanarax, who treats many tumors located in the thoracic and abdominal regions, sums it up: “ABC gives us another technological tool to allow us to give even more precise proton beam therapy to further reduce radiation exposure to surrounding normal organs.”