New cancer technology coming to Baton Rouge, set to help patients with complex types of cancers

Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 11:53 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - New technology is coming to Baton Rouge to help in the battle locally and across the Gulf Coast.

The Louisiana Department of Health said about one in three people are diagnosed with cancer at some time in their life, and about one in five dies of cancer. Mary Bird Perkins in Baton Rouge is taking a step forward in the fight, welcoming an Adaptive MRI-Guided Radiation Therapy Program.

“It’s really going to open up a lot of new opportunities to be able to manage complex cancers in ways that we had not been able to before,” said Dr. Jonas Fontenot, Chief Operating Officer at Mary Bird Perkins.

State health officials said people can get cancer through repeated long-term contact with carcinogens like tobacco, sunlight, x-rays and certain chemicals in the air, water, food, drugs and workplace.

Fontenot said this new imaging technology allows doctors to develop a radiation dose plan for cancer patients.

“This will create a new set of treatment options for patients with very complex types of cancers,” said Fontenot. “Certain cancers of the pelvis, the abdomen, the thorax, the brain will really be able to benefit in ways that we’ve been not able to manage before this time.”

He said the new technology will increase the chance of cancer control while decreasing side effects for patients in the capital region.

“Patients should talk to their oncologist about whether they may be a candidate and benefit from the technology,” said Fontenot.

Next year, the new technology is set to come, treating patients by the late summer and early fall of 2022.

There are only six cancer centers in the country offering this technology. The program was made available through a $10 million-plus investment.

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