Maine Medical Center Maintains its Standing as the State's Only
Accredited Radiation Oncology Facility
The Radiation Oncology Program of the Maine Medical Center Cancer Institute (MMCCI) was recently redesignated as the only facility in the state to receive Accreditation in Radiation Oncology from the American College of Radiology (ACR). The ACR is a national organization serving more than 32,000 diagnostic and interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, and nuclear medicine and medical physicists. The Radiation Oncology Program is a key component of the Maine Medical Center Cancer Institute.
The three-year term is based on a peer review - an evaluation by Board certified physicians and medical physicists - which assess the qualifications of personnel and the adequacy of the facility. The Radiation Oncology Program underwent a comprehensive site review in October 2009 which resulted in the decision by the ACR to continue MMCCI's accreditation status. Radiation Oncology first received accreditation in 2006.
"The accreditation is earned after a rigorous evaluation of our program's quality, outcomes, and commitment to patient care," says Neil McGinn, MD, MMC's Director of Radiation Oncology and a physician affiliated with Spectrum Medical Group in South Portland. "Patients can feel good knowing that they will receive the highest level of care available." This accreditation is particularly timely with recent media coverage focusing on the growing concern of radiation therapy administration errors in hospitals. Although errors are rare, radiation therapy technology has become increasingly complex and powerful and there is a need for stringent oversight and quality monitoring to ensure that radiation doses are administered safely and accurately.
Better results in less time
Earning the ACR accreditation means an organization has demonstrated a commitment to patient care and quality, and is able to offer advanced technology and techniques for the care and treatment of cancer patients. One example of that commitment is a new program to offer accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) via high-dose rate brachytherapy for breast cancer patients. This outpatient treatment targets the tumor site rather than the whole breast - eradicating any residual tumor cells while leaving more healthy tissue and cells intact. Over 100 women have now been treated with this approach, with a recurrence rate of just two percent. This recurrence rate is comparable to that achieved with more conventional treatment, with significantly fewer side effects.
In addition to its effectiveness and reduced toxicity-APBI requires less time than more conventional whole breast treatment. High dose patients receive two treatments a day for five days; while regimens of whole breast treatments last approximately 30 days. MMCCI is the only facility in the state offering APBI for breast cancer patients.
"It's a very effective and practical option, especially for women who don't have easy access to a breast cancer treatment facility," says Celine Godin, MD, MPH, Radiation Oncologist, Spectrum Medical Group. "We recently treated a patient from New Sweden who came here because she heard about the APBI program and felt it was the best choice for her. We're happy she was able to stay in Maine - she received leading treatment without the hassle and stress of having to travel further from home."
The Maine Medical Center Cancer Institute is Maine's leading provider of oncology services for adults and children, offering a depth and breath of clinical quality and expertise unrivaled in northern New England. For more information about the Maine Medical Center Cancer Institute, go to mmc.org/cancerinstitute or call 1-877-831-2129.
Maine Medical Center (MMC) is a complete health care resource for the people of Greater Portland and the entire state, as well as northern New England. Incorporated in 1864, MMC is the state's largest medical center, licensed for 637 beds and employing more than 6,000 people. MMC's unique role as both a community hospital and a referral center requires an unparalleled depth and breadth of services, including an active educational program and a world-class biomedical research center. As a nonprofit institution, Maine Medical Center provides nearly 23 percent of all the charity care delivered in Maine. MMC is a member of the MaineHealth system, a growing family of health care services in southern, central, and western Maine.
Contact: John Lamb
(207) 662-4405 (office)
(207) 741-8221 (pager)