Advanced oncology treatment now available in Sterling – Journal Advocate

Posted: September 7, 2017 at 12:44 pm

Two new treatment options available to residents at Sterling Regional MedCenter mean they can receive the latest and most effective cancer treatment without having to spend hours in the car driving to and from the Front Range.

Michael Van Tuyl, M.D. is a full-time radiation oncologist at Sterling Regional MedCenter. With a specialty in radiation treatment and management of all adult cancers, Dr. Van Tuyl has been focused on bringing advanced oncology treatments including 3D printer technology and isotope therapy to Sterling Regional MedCenter and rural community members.

“Patients living in rural communities deserve the same quality care and treatment as urban communities, especially when there is a need for the service,” said Dr. Van Tuyl. “I’ve always enjoyed working in rural areas and am very excited about bringing these new opportunities and state-of-the-art technologies to oncology treatment in Sterling. With the assistance from 3D printer technology and the new isotope therapy coming soon, more than 95 percent of treatments and management can be done onsite in Sterling.”

Working closely with North Colorado Medical Center Cancer Institute team in Greeley, Dr. Van Tuyl is now using a 3D printer to enhance treatment for cancer patients undergoing radiation using 3D-printed molds, called bolus. The 3D printed bolus is able to better distribute the radiation dose so that the treatment is more effective. Prior to using a 3D-printed bolus, less precise materials such as gauze and tape were used to cover up the treatment area, which created air pockets that diluted the radiation dose. With 3D printers, doctors can create a bolus in six to eight hours with 0.5-millimeter accuracy.

Isotope therapy is coming soon to Sterling Regional MedCenter. Isotope therapy is a procedure in which a liquid form of radiation is administered internally through infusion or injection. The ultimate purpose is to treat cancerous cells with minimal damage to the normal surrounding tissue. Right now, patients in Sterling and surrounding rural areas have to drive to a Front Range facility to receive this treatment.

“3D printed technology and isotope therapy are exciting new additions to our oncology treatment plans,” said Dr. Van Tuyl. “Offering these services right in Sterling cuts down on cost and time away from home and keeps the patient where their supportsystem is allowingfor ample recovery.”

To learn more about other offerings at Sterling Regional MedCenter, visit the website or call 970-522-0122.

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Advanced oncology treatment now available in Sterling – Journal Advocate

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