Leading-Edge Technology, World Class Facility Position Memorial to Better Serve the Cancer Community

January 10, 2024

The use of radiation as a treatment option for the many forms of cancer has been described as a “tool in the toolbox.” If that’s so, Memorial Healthcare System has significantly upgraded both its tools and toolbox with the completion of the $125 million, 125,000 square foot Memorial Cancer Institute on the campus of Memorial Hospital West in Pembroke Pines.

Radiation Oncology

doctor talking to patient lying on radiology system

Radiation has traditionally been used in 50-60% of cancer cases, either by itself or in combination with chemotherapy, surgery, immunotherapy, and other medications. We make decisions on usage based on the type of cancer the patient has been diagnosed with, its molecular profile, and how far the disease has advanced. It has been a critical piece of the treatment regimen for many years and recent advancements have enabled radiation oncologists to be more precise with its use, treating smaller areas with lower doses to normal tissues.

The results have been a game-changer for many patients, allowing them to resume their former lives with all the functionality they previously had.

Poised for Growth

That’s why I’m excited and proud to share an update on the technical upgrades in our program and new facility that will enable us to meet the needs of more cancer patients in the community. South Florida’s growing and aging population, and the increased number of cases due to each of those factors, make the high-quality, multi-disciplinary approach we deliver, in a healing environment close to home, so important to the future health of the region.

Advancements in technology and equipment enable our teams to deliver more precise and effective radiation treatments:

  • CyberKnife® S7: The latest version of a cutting-edge robotic system that is versatile enough to radiate tumors anywhere in the body, often avoiding the need for invasive surgery. Its exceptional accuracy is ideal for the treatment of small tumors, and it adapts to patient movements in real-time, ensuring optimal outcomes.

  • Halcyon™ Radiation Therapy System: Rapidly produces high-quality images to precisely locate tumors. This technology expedites radiation treatments up to four times faster than conventional methods, so patients spend less time in treatment, significantly improving their experience.

  • Varian TrueBeam®: An advanced radiotherapy with intelligent features that synchronize radiation delivery with a patient's breathing in a process called “respiratory gating.” This is particularly important in treating breast and lung cancers, preserving healthy tissues from unnecessary radiation exposure.

  • Elekta Flexitron system: An innovative approach to delivering high-dose radiation brachytherapy. This system also directly targets tumors while safeguarding surrounding healthy tissues.

While having these tools in one location makes receiving the highest-quality cancer care easier and more accessible to larger numbers of people, it’s the coordinated care provided by teams of professionals that makes Memorial Cancer Institute a beacon of hope for so many. That’s something I knew from the work we do but was reinforced when my wife was diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer.

Cancer Gets Personal

Being the spouse of a cancer patient provided a different perspective than my training and professional experience had given me. Whether an individual has knowledge of the disease and its treatments or not, there is fear and dread of the unknown. Following that initial reaction, however, was a calmness that came from understanding how far cancer care has come.

There was also the confidence that the teams of specialists at Memorial would provide the appropriate care and deliver the best possible outcomes, which is something I hope every family that walks through our doors can feel. With a coordinated care plan, it is possible to return to a normal life that doesn’t involve the disease.

In addition to the expertise, technology, clinical trials, and latest treatments, it’s peace-of-mind Memorial Cancer Institute can deliver to families, whether that’s mine or yours.