UAMS Baptist Health Cancer Center Offering Innovative Technique To Reduce Radiation Exposure To Heart

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – UAMS Baptist Health Cancer Center in North Little Rock is the only radiation therapy center in central Arkansas to offer an innovative technique through the AlignRT system for Surface Guided Radiation Therapy (SGRT).

This system, from Vision RT, particularly benefits patients with cancer of the left breast, as it can help the radiotherapy team reduce the radiation dose to the heart.

Radiation can be a powerful treatment for breast cancer, but the left breast is very close to your heart. This leaves the heart vulnerable to radiation exposure, which can cause heart issues many years after treatment.

“If you have left-breast cancer, we take extra precautions to make sure that your heart receives minimal radiation exposure during your treatment,” said Richard Crownover MD, PhD, a UAMS radiation oncologist practicing at UAMS Baptist Health Cancer Center.

UAMS Baptist Health Cancer Center uses a technique called Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH) to move the heart away from the breast during therapy. However, achieving this can be challenging. Patients breathe in different ways at different times, and may unintentionally arch their back to simulate a deep breath in. These different movements can appear similar to a patient’s true breath hold, but do not necessarily separate the heart from the breast.

“AlignRT helps us make sure your heart is in the right place,” said Dr. Crownover. “Using three camera units to monitor thousands of points on your skin, AlignRT can detect any motion as you hold your breath — side to side, up and down, forward and back and more. So if you move out of position, the radiation beam is automatically turned off. Your cancer is treated. And your heart is protected.”

For more information about UAMS Baptist Health Cancer Center on the campus of Baptist Health Medical Center-North Little Rock, visit UAMSBaptist.Health/Cancer.


About Baptist Health

For 100 years, Baptist Health has delivered All Our Best in health care through Christian compassion and innovative services. Baptist Health is Arkansas’ most comprehensive health care organization with more than 250 points of access that include 11 hospitals; urgent care centers; a senior living community; over 100 primary and specialty care clinics; a college with studies in nursing and allied health; a graduate residency program; and access to virtual care anytime, anywhere. It is also the largest private not-for-profit health care organization based in Arkansas, providing care through the support of approximately 11,000 employees, groundbreaking treatments, renowned physicians and community outreach programs. For more information about Baptist Health, visit, call Baptist Health HealthLine at 1-888-BAPTIST or download the myBaptistHealth app. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.


About UAMS

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise including its hospital, regional clinics and clinics it operates or staffs in cooperation with other providers. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report recognized UAMS Medical Center as a Best Hospital for 2021-22; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide for the third year; and named five areas as high performing — colon cancer surgery, diabetes, hip replacement, knee replacement and stroke. Forbes magazine ranked UAMS as seventh in the nation on its Best Employers for Diversity list. UAMS also ranked in the top 30% nationwide on Forbes’ Best Employers for Women list and was the only Arkansas employer included. UAMS has 2,876 students, 898 medical residents and six dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.