CAR T-cell therapy is offered at only a few cancer centers in the country. It’s an emerging treatment for aggressive blood cancers, including leukemia and lymphoma. CAR T-cell therapy involves taking blood from a patient and isolating the T-cells (disease-fighting immune cells). They are then sent to a lab where they are re-engineered into “fighter” cells. These cells are frozen, returned to the hospital, and infused back into the patient to begin attacking the cancer.
The earlier lung cancer is diagnosed, the better opportunity we have to successfully treat it. The new Ion™ Endoluminal System is a robotic scope that allows our doctors to grab tissue samples from deep within the lung, even around tight bends in the airways. AHN is the first in western Pennsylvania to perform lung biopsies with the Ion, which lets us detect lung cancer earlier than ever before.
*Allegheny Health Network has recently purchased an Ion™ endoluminal system
MR-Linac is a breakthrough technology that simultaneously generates magnetic resonance images (MRI) and delivers radiation beams. The MR-linac will allow doctors to view tumor tissue more clearly and adapt the radiation dose while a patient is being treated. AHN will be one of six facilities in the country testing the MR-linac when it becomes available at the new AHN Cancer Institute at Allegheny General Hospital in 2021.
AHN Cancer Institute is one of the few centers in the country treating patients with advanced abdominal cancers using an innovative treatment called Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC). The goal of HIPEC is to prevent new cancer growth with strong doses of heated chemotherapy, circulated directly in the abdomen. HIPEC can cause fewer side effects than intravenous chemotherapy. This approach is particularly effective for those with advanced abdominal cancers, as it is meant to kill microscopic cells left behind after surgery. Read how Gevony’s story with the HIPEC procedure.
Approximately 80 percent of patients with liver cancer are not eligible for surgery. SBRT is proven to shrink tumors in patients with inoperable liver cancer. It also works as a bridge to liver transplants. AHN Cancer Institute pioneered the use of SBRT as an option to safely treat these patients.
SBRT also serves as an effective bridge to surgical removal of a tumor, or a liver transplant. Slowing down tumor growth gives transplant-eligible patients more time to wait for a new liver to become available. Read how SBRT shrank Conny’s liver tumor
Gamma Knife is an effective method for treating certain types of brain tumors. Despite its name, it does not involve a scalpel or incision. Instead, the Gamma Knife uses up to 192 precisely focused beams of radiation at a tumor to shrink it, stop its growth, or eliminate it completely. Because of its pinpoint accuracy, it can be used to treat tumors that are in areas of the brain that are extremely challenging to access.
*Leksell Gamma Knife is a registered trademark of Elekta.
Oncologists, genetics experts, and molecular pathologists from AHN and Johns Hopkins comprise the Genetic Alteration in Tumors with Actionable Yields (GAITWAY) Tumor Board. GAITWAY reviews tumor sequencing reports to determines targeted therapies for patients with advanced or rare tumors. Also, AHN Cancer Institute researchers are developing cancer treatments based upon drugs made from DNA. This technique is called “gene therapy.” Read how genomic testing playing a part in Anita’s cancer journey
AHN uses the Modus V™*, a fully automated robotic digital microscope with a high-powered camera and light source that provides exceptional views of the brain. The Modus V’s features can potentially allow for the use of less-invasive procedures, more rapid recovery, and reduced complications. This novel technology assists surgeons with extreme precision when removing brain tumors. Read how Dr. Williamson used the Modus V to remove Reba’s brain tumor
*Modus V™ is a trademark of Synaptive Medical and is used with permission.
Immunotherapy improves the immune system’s ability to target cancer cells and stop or slow their growth. AHN Cancer Institute oncologists offer immunotherapy to effectively treat many types of cancer, often in combination with other forms of treatment. Read how Claud turned to immunotherapy for his stage 4 lung cancer
AHN Cancer Institute oncologists offer OsteoCool™* as a minimally invasive option for patients who need complex spinal reconstruction surgery. OsteoCool uses radiofrequency energy to kill painful spinal tumors. Surgeons make two small puncture incisions and then transmit heat energy into the tumor. This minimally invasive technique has resulted in patients receiving immediate pain relief. Read Leo’s story and how OsteoCool made his back feel brand new.
*OsteoCool™ RF Ablation system is a trademark of Medtronic and is used with permission.
How do you turn "you have cancer" into "you had cancer"? You have the AHN Cancer Institute. Which means you have immunotherapy, image guided radiation, gene therapy, targeted chemotherapy and more. Everything it takes to help more patients turn you have cancer into you had cancer.