The Instituto de Radioterapia del Este, a radiotherapy cancer treatment center featuring the most advanced and innovative technology, recently opened in Humacao, following an $11 million investment.
Upon opening the clinic, its owners promised quicker treatments with the best success rates in Puerto Rico, Latin America and the Caribbean.
The new 15,000 square-foot medical center seeks to serve patients residing along the island’s east coast — as well as the island municipalities of Vieques and Culebra — who will have access to “the most innovative technology on the market,” said Carlos Remedios, medical director of the IRE, as the institute is known in Spanish.
The cancer treatment center expects to treat 50 new patients a month, which will be able to move on as they complete their treatment cycle, medical staff said.
“The advanced technology allows administering more radiation in less time on the affected cells, without harming healthy cells, and achieving a shorter, more accurate and effective treatment for the patient’s benefit,” he said.
At present, the IRE employs 14, with the goal of reaching 25 in coming months. Each job creates between three and five indirect positions, company officials said.
The $11 million investment in the regional treatment center covers a long list of state-of-the-art equipment to provide a variety of cancer treatment therapies.
The inventory includes the only Computerized Linear Accelerator Varian Trilogy Rapid Arc machine on the island that allows external irradiation to the affected area, conforming to each patient and reducing the duration of a treatment session to one-tenth of the time it normally takes other machines. The IRE is also incorporating an Image Guided Radiation Treatment machine that finds and controls the movement of tumors caused by breathing, which prevents damage to other organs. It also offers Stereotactic Body Radiosurgery technology that allows performing radiosurgery on tumors that cannot be treated surgically because they are located in critical areas or close to that could affect them.
“Part of the integral specialized care process the IRE offers calls for designing an individualized treatment plan for each patient,” Remedios said. “The quality, capacity and advantages of these technologies are incredible. It is a great step forward for cancer patients, as they are able to enjoy a better quality of life, which is our mission at the IRE.”
According to Health Department statistics, cancer is the second leading cause of death in Puerto Rico, where more than 2,000 new cases are diagnosed a year.