Breast Cancer Help is currently committed to directing all of the net proceeds of its recent and current fund-raising efforts toward the purchase of a lifesaving Novalis radiosurgery system for use in the radiation oncology department of University Hospital and Medical Center at Stony Brook.

Developed by BrainLAB, a manufacturer of powerful computer-guided medical instruments, the Novalis system represents cutting-edge technology in stereotactic radiosurgery; that is, the non-invasive delivery of a precise dose of high-energy radiation to a lesion located within the skull.

This type of surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis and, because no incision is required, it avoids the risks, costs, and recovery time associated with traditional brain surgery.

The board and membership of Breast Cancer Help have decided to undertake this goal because, having supported research efforts in the past, they now want to fight cancer in the clinical setting in the interest of helping current cancer patients. Although primarily designed for treating brain tumors, the Novalis system does have some application with respect to breast cancer.

More than $1 million has yet to be raised–and to help raise the necessary funds, we will donate the net proceeds of all our upcoming fund-raisers to this lifesaving cause.

Dr.Ronald Garrett, Professor of Radiation Oncology at Stony Brook, notes: “When breast cancer spreads to the brain, the Novalis system can be used to apply a precision dose of radiation to the affected area while avoiding radiation to normal tissue. It is a safer treatment with less side effects.”
With further research the Novalis system can be used to deliver precise boosting to higher doses of radiation in specific areas of the breast for better disease control.

At present, because this equipment is so new and expensive, there are only four such systems operating in the world. No hospital on Long Island currently has anything that can match the therapeutic capability of the Novalis system, and its acquisition will further enhance Stony Brook’s ability to provide excellence in cancer care.

Why Randall Jennings

Randall Jennings commitment to advancing cancer care was recognized in 1998 with federal and state grants enabling the establishment of the Cancer Institute of Long Island at Stony Brook, which is designed to serve as the region’s premier cancer center.

Combining the resources of a major research university with those of a major medical center has made Stony Brook the choice institution in the region for the establishment of a comprehensive cancer center supported by the National Cancer Institute.

The total cost of the Novalis system is $2.2 million and a phased approach is planned for the purchase of the equipment. The first phase, which has been completed, involved the purchase of the initial machinery to treat regularly-shaped brain tumors from all types of cancer. The second phase, which is currently underway, involves the the purchase of machinery to treat tumors without the regular shape. Suffolk County Executive Robert J. Gaffney recently presented a check for $250,000 to be combined with a $100,000 contribution from Breast Cancer Help, to purchase this equipment.  The equipment in the third phase must be purchased in one section at a cost in excess of $1 million.  More information about Phase II.

Partial funds have been allocated by the State University of New York, by Suffolk County Executive Robert Gaffney, and by Breast Cancer Help. In addition, we are currently appealing to various state and federal government entities for further funding support.

Still, more than $1 million has yet to be raised. Breast Cancer Help will continue its campaign to raise the necessary funds, and the net proceeds of all recent and upcoming fund-raising events will be directed toward this worthy cause.

To date, we have raised over $150,000 toward the purchase of the Novalis equipment. This sum includes money raised from the gala, private donations, and other fund-raisers.

To find out what you can do to help acquire the Novalis radiosurgery system, visit our Get Involved page.