Health First Cancer Institute offers a variety of cancer treatments including highly specialized care not available anywhere else in Brevard.
Treatment options include:
Along with our highly trained Radiation Oncologists, Health First Cancer Institute utilizes the most advanced radiation technology available including:
Varian TrueBeam™ System - Health First Cancer Institute was the first in Florida to offer the TrueBeam™ in August of 2010. The Varian TrueBeam™ is a non-invasive cancer treatment that delivers radiation treatment with pinpoint accuracy and precision. It is one of the most advanced radiotherapy technologies in the world, all while keeping the patient experience in mind with most treatments taking just a few minutes. TrueBeam™ is used for all forms of advanced external beam techniques including image-guided radiotheraphy (IGRT), intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), and RapidArc® radiotherapy technology.
RapidArc® - RapidArc® is a radiotherapy technology that is among the most advanced forms of intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). The RapidArc® system guides the radiation beam to the tumor in one or two rotations of the machine around the patient. During treatment, the radiation beam is shaped and reshaped as it continuously delivers beams at virtually every angle in a 360-degree revolution. In short, it allows us to deliver a high dose of radiation to kill or sterilize cancer cells in an extremely precise, targeted manner, which spares healthy tissues from damage. Even the most complicated targets can complete treatments in 15 minutes or less.
Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) - is a computer-based form of radiotherapy that allows radiation oncologists to send external beams in the 3-D shape of tumors in small multiple doses with precision. Because the tumor can be contoured more efficiently with IMRT, the radiation doses to healthy surrounding tissues are minimized, thus patients treated with IMRT experience fewer harsh side effects from radiation therapy.
Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) - provides high-resolution, 3-D images to pinpoint tumor sites, adjust patient positioning when necessary, and complete a treatment. Patients are x-rayed before each treatment. Those x-rays are compared to the patient's initial CT scan and the patient is matched perfectly to their original set-up position - every single treatment. This positioning system is far superior to skin marks or tattoos that are placed on the patient's skin. IGRT can also account for daily organ movement and changes in the patient's internal anatomy throughout the course of their treatment.
Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) - is a form of radiation therapy that focuses high-powered radiation beams and the use of a special non-invasive head frame. Stereotactic radiosurgery better targets the abnormal cancerous area in a single fraction. Because the treatment is delivered using strategically placed dynamic conformal arcs, the dose to the normal tissues surrounding the target is significantly reduced.
Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT) - is typically used to treat small, early-stage tumors of the lung or isolated recurrences or metastases from various types of cancer. Treatment is painless and usually over 2 to 5 fractions and generally completed in one week. Advantages over conventional radiotherapy include the ability to irradiate smaller normal tissue volume because of the more rapid dose fall-off. As a result, side effects are rare and most treatments are completed in 20 minutes or less.
Internal Radiation Therapy (Brachytherapy) - treats cancer by placing radioactive sources directly into or next to the area requiring treatment. This allows for the delivery of a high dose of radiation with minimal impact on surrounding healthy tissues. It has been proven to be highly successful in treating prostate, cervix, endometrium, breast, skin, bronchus, esophagus, and head and neck cancers.
Radiopharmaceuticals such as Xofigo, Samarium, and I-131 - these are a form of liquid radiation that is either taken orally or injected intravenously to treat specific benign and malignant conditions. I-131 is taken orally to treat benign thyroid conditions and in higher doses, certain types of thyroid cancers. Xiofigo is administered intravenously for the treatment of prostate cancer after it has spread to the bones. Samarium (SM-153) is a type of injectable radiation treatment that helps reduce pain in patients whose cancer has spread to the bones. The radioactive material in the samarium treatment only goes into the cancer cells and not into the healthy bones or tissue.
Our Medical Oncology provides personalized treatment recommendations based on your type of cancer, disease stage, and other risk factors. They specialize in treating cancer with chemotherapy or other medications, such as targeted therapy and oral (pill) chemotherapy. Targeted therapy is a treatment that targets a cancer's specific genes, proteins, or the tissue environment that contributes to cancer growth and survival.
Treatments offered by our physicians include:
Bland and Chemoembolization for Liver Cancers -
With decades of experience treating cancer, our Interventional Radiologists directly target the sites of cancer in the liver using small beads which slowly infuse chemotherapy days after the procedure is completed. The chemotherapy targets the tumors directly, rather than being infused throughout the body - eliminating unwanted side effects.
Radioembolization with Yttrium-90 (Therasphere® and SIRSphere) -
Health First Cancer Institute is the first in East Central Florida to offer Y-90 radioembolization with both Therasphere or SIR-spheres - innovative, new therapies that deliver radiation directly to tumors in the liver using tiny glass or resin beads called 'microspheres."
Radioembolization is used to treat tumors that begin in the liver or have spread to the liver. This treatment is a combination of radiation therapy and minimally-invasive treatment called "embolization." Placing the radiation source directly in the tumor, allows for the maximum effect with relative sparing or normal liver tissue. The benefits of this treatment include: no surgical incision, only a small nick in the skin that does not have to be stitched closed, higher doses of radiation for better tumor treatment than with standard external beam radiation, fewer side effects, and most importantly, proven to extend the life from months to years.
Radiofrequency, Microwave and Cryoablation of Tumors -
Using advanced imaging techniques, our Interventional Radiologists will insert a small probe directly into tumors growing throughout the body such as in the lungs, kidneys, liver or bones. The tumors are then destroyed using heat or ice, leaving only a small nick on the skin behind. The techniques can be the only treatment required to destroy the tumor, or may be used in conjunction with systemic chemotherapy, external beam radiation or surgery.
The STAR™ Tumor Ablation System -
Developed exclusively for treatment of metastatic spinal tumors, our Interventional Radiologists will insert a small instrument directly into the tumor(s) within the bone. Radiofrequency energy is then directly delivered to the site, destroying the metastatic spinal tumor. Bone cement is inserted into the empty cavity to strengthen the bone and prevent any further pain.
Central Venous Access -
Often the first step of cancer treatment is gaining safe and adequate access to the bloodstream. Our Interventional Radiologist use their minimal invasive techniques to precisely insert chest ports, tunneled catheters and other access devices in a safe, comfortable environment. All of the procedures are performed as an outpatient and take less than one hour to complete.
Tissue Biopsy -
Many cancers require not only one but multiple tissue biopsy samples to be obtained throughout the treatment course. Our Interventional Radiologists are the leaders in Brevard County for obtaining adequate, safe and proper tissue sampling under imaging-guidance throughout the body.
Thoracentesis, Paracentesis and Fluid Drainage -
Fluid often accumulates in areas related and unrelated to underlying cancers in the body. Image-guided drainage of these fluid collections is critical in maintaining the highest quality of life.
Our Interventional Radiologists offer and perform all of the advanced, minimally invasive treatments for cancer offered at only the highest ranked cancer centers in the world. Their aggressive approach to cancer allows you to continue to enjoy the highest quality of life, by treating cancer without traditional surgery.
Surgical oncology specializes in the removal of the tumor and surrounding tissue during an operation. The surgeon also performs biopsies to confirm cancer and staging.
At Health First Cancer Institute, we offer a variety of specialized treatments and options you can only find with us. Such as:
Brevard County's Gynecologic (GYN) Oncologist
When it comes to the treatment of female reproductive organ cancers, Health First Cancer Institute provides you with Brevard County's gynecologic (GYN) oncologist. A GYN oncologist specializes in treating cancer of the ovary, endometrium, uterus, cervix, vagina, vulva, and trophoblastic disease. They are trained in providing comprehensive, multi-disciplinary care. They are skilled surgical oncologists and are trained in administering chemotherapy. This allows for the patient to form a relationship with her physician that spans from initial consult through all treatments.
A partial nephrectomy procedure removes only the cancerous part of the kidney while sparing the healthy, functioning part. Sparing kidney tissue is important because studies show that patients who have their entire kidney removed are more likely to suffer from chronic kidney disease after surgery and need dialysis compared to patients who receive a partial nephrectomy. Instead of a large incision used in open surgery, the robotic partial nephrectomy makes a few small incisions. Results are a shorter operation, less blood loss, and quicker discharge from the hospital.
Y-90 Radioembolization Treatment for Liver Cancer
Health First Cancer Institute is the first in East Central Florida to offer Y-90 radioembolization with both therasphere or SIR-spheres - innovative, new therapies that deliver radiation directly to tumors in the liver using tiny glass or resin beads called "microspheres."
Radioembolization is used to treat tumors that begin in the liver or have spread to the liver. This treatment is a combination of radiation therapy and minimally-invasive treatment called "embolization." Placing the radiation source directly in the tumor, allows for the maximum effect with relative sparing of normal liver tissue. The benefits of this treatment include: no surgical incision, only a small nick in the skin that does not have to be stitched closed, higher doses of radiation for better tumor treatment than with standard external beam radiation, fewer side effects, proven extended lives from months to years and overall quality of life.
Robotic Lobectomy for Lung Cancer Patients
This surgery is the excision of one of the three lobes of the right lung or two lobes of the left lung. Traditionally, lobes are removed through an open thoracotomy, a long incision on the side of the chest. The thoracotomy is usually very painful and has an extended recovery time. At Health First Cancer Institute, we offer robotic lobectomy for those cancers in early stages. With robotic lobectomy, patients typically experience a shorter hospital stay, less pain, and a quicker return to normal life. Older patients, who may not be optimal patients for open surgery, are viable candidates for a robotic lebectomy.