New cancer treatment gets a traveler back on the road

New Cancer Treatment Gets a Traveler Back on the Road

But the renowned oncology team at Allegheny Health Network (AHN) introduced her to stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) — an innovative technique others hadn’t mastered. Now, thanks to AHN and SBRT, Naomi has been able to follow her travel dreams.

AHN radiation oncologist Alex Kirichenko, MD, PhD, pioneered SBRT. It is a non-invasive, leading-edge technique that allows for precise delivery of high doses of radiation to isolated tumors. Compared to traditional radiation, it’s less toxic and usually results in improved outcomes with fewer complications.

Dr. Jane Raymond, medical oncologist, referred Naomi to Dr. Kirichenko for his expertise in treating liver tumors. Dr. Kirichenko, along with a team of specialists from the AHN Cancer Institute, gave Naomi the hope she needed to continue her fight.

“AHN had the technology to do SBRT to my liver …” said Naomi. “That has been a key piece of saving my life.”

Because of Dr. Kirichenko and his front-line knowledge of the innovative SBRT technique, plus a whole group of doctors who were involved in her case, Naomi is able to tell her survival story — living proof that with the right care team at your side, dreams can become a reality.

The Circle of Giving

Now, when she and John aren’t on a road trip, Naomi is busy giving back to the community. She organized a “giving circle,” which has already donated more than $19,000 to local charities. They call themselves the “Need Knots.”

“Because we need not another thing,” Naomi said.

Allegheny Health Network Cancer Institute

The AHN Cancer Institute provides best-in-class, patient-centered care that is easy to access in your community. It services patients in 39 locations. For more complex care, including inpatient surgical procedures, patients can rely on experts at two academic hospitals respected nationwide: Allegheny General Hospital and West Penn Hospital.

AHN Cancer Institute specialists use a holistic approach to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients with all types of cancer. They form a cohesive team to address each patient’s physical, emotional, and psychological needs. Experts from different fields come together to treat patients as a whole, not just their cancer.

The AHN Cancer Institute also works to pioneer new cancer treatments. It offers access to some of the nation’s most advanced clinical trials, where AHN oncologists work hand-in-hand with the country’s top research institutions to develop new drugs, devices, and surgical interventions.

The Highmark Cancer Collaborative

The AHN Cancer Institute is working together with Highmark Inc., and the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center to benefit patients through the Highmark Cancer Collaborative. Together, they’re establishing new standards for nationally ranked cancer care, world-class research, and patient-centered coverage — taking doctor-insurer cooperation to a new level

Highmark Inc.

  • Coordinated, patient-centered health care coverage

Allegheny Health Network Cancer Institute

  • Quality cancer care in western Pennsylvania

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center

  • Access to early-phase clinical trials and second opinions for rare and complex cancers

With better-managed, high-quality care, the Highmark Cancer Collaborative empowers doctors at every stage to deliver care that’s effective, hassle-free, and lower cost — all while focused on the best possible outcomes.

Learn More


  • Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy
  • Allegheny Health Network Cancer Institute
  • The Highmark Cancer Collaborative