Press Releases & Announcements

New Milford Hospital Improves Cancer Care with Image-Guided Radiotherapy

Thursday, October 28, 2010 - New Milford, CT

The Regional Cancer Center at New Milford Hospital has commenced treating patients with its new Trilogy linear accelerator, offering advanced technology for image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT).  The new technology also will enable the Hospital in the near future to offer image-guided radiosurgery (IGRS) for treating cancer and neurological lesions.  The Trilogy™ System from Varian Medical Systems, is the most powerful, precise, and versatile treatment solution ever provided by one product.  In addition to delivering conventional forms of radiation therapy, the Trilogy system can be used for stereotactic approaches for treating very small lesions quickly and with unprecedented precision.
“This state-of-the-art system will enable us to treat patients with the most advanced radiotherapy techniques, using the most clinically efficient processes in the world,” said Joseph Bargellini, MD, Director, Radiation Oncology. “It provides us with tremendous versatility and precision for customizing treatments according to the specifics of each patient’s case.

Beam Shaping and Patient Positioning

At the core of the Trilogy system is Varian’s high-powered medical linear accelerator, a machine that rotates around the patient to deliver radiotherapy treatments from many angles.  The system is able to concentrate radiation doses on the tumor while protecting surrounding healthy tissue.  The Trilogy linear accelerator was designed to deliver high doses of radiation very quickly, and with great precision.  That translates into faster treatments, greater patient comfort, and the potential for better outcomes.

The system incorporates a multileaf collimator for shaping the radiation beam to match the three-dimensional shape of the tumor, and an On-Board Imager™ device with a robotic table for fast, accurate, automated patient positioning.

Stereotactic Approaches to Treatment

The Trilogy linear accelerator is optimized for stereotactic applications that involve delivering higher doses of radiation to smaller areas over short periods of time.  This means that, in addition to cancer, doctors can use the system to treat benign and malignant brain tumors, arteriovenous malformations, and other neurological conditions.

“Stereotactic approaches are generally most appropriate for small lesions and early metastases,” said Dr. Bargellini.  “Better diagnostic tools are making it possible for us to see tumors much earlier, when they’re still very small, so stereotactic radiotherapies are likely to play a much larger role in the future of cancer care. Stereotactic techniques are also being explored to treat tumors outside the brain as well.”

“Radiation therapy is used today in more than half of all cancer treatments due to its unique clinical advantages,” he added.  “Using the Trilogy system, we have the potential to substantially improve treatment outcomes by doing a better job of protecting healthy tissue while delivering more powerful doses to tumors and other abnormalities.  With the addition of this technology to our existing services of high- and low-dose rate brachytherapy, including partial breast treatment and prostate seed implantation, as well as radiopharmaceutical therapy, there is very little we cannot do at New Milford Hospital.”

New Milford Hospital is approved by the American College of Surgeons, Commission on Cancer, and the Radiation Oncology program is accredited by the American College of Radiology.  Its Regional Cancer Center provides a multi-disciplinary team of surgeons and physician specialists, nurses and support staff to offer comprehensive care with a high level of personal attention to keep patients close to home.

About New Milford Hospital

Founded in 1921, New Milford Hospital is an 85-bed community hospital and Planetree affiliate dedicated to patient-centered care that nurtures every patient’s mind, body and spirit. The Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission, designated as a Primary Stroke Center by the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health, and Approved with Commendation by the American College of Surgeons, Commission on Cancer. Since 2005, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement has recognized the Hospital for clinical excellence in heart failure care, critical care, infection control and surveillance, patient safety and healthy food initiatives. The Hospital operates specialty centers for one-day surgery, cardiovascular and cancer care, emergency medicine, orthopedic joint services, family birthing, women’s imaging, sleep medicine, hospitalist (inpatient) medicine.

As a not-for-profit community servant, New Milford Hospital provides more than $20 million annually to area residents through charity care, government-sponsored programs, education, outreach and screening. For more information, visit or call 1-800-350-1595.