CIRRO, the cutting edge of treatment

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Dr, Ricardo Britton and staff assist a patient in the Varian Medical Systems LINAC.

Dr, Ricardo Britton and staff assist a patient in the Varian Medical Systems LINAC.

Hospital Nacional has one of the most advanced and innovative cancer treatment clinics in Central America. Operational for little over a year, the International Radiosurgery and Radiotherapy Center (CIRRO) and is headed by Dr. Ricardo Britton and his son, Dr. Keith Britton. They provide state-of-the-art “Rapid Arc” technology, designed for the treatment of all forms of cancer in the most comfortable, precise and effective manner possible.

“CIRRO is well above the U.S. standard for cancer treatment,” said Dr. Keith Britton. It is more than the technology that puts the center a cut above. Patients are assigned a team of doctors who bring to bear a multidisciplinary approach. “Our doctors are trained in top schools like MD Anderson, in Houston, and Yale. A patient’s team can consist of an oncologicical radiotherapist, a neurosurgeon, a neuroradiologist and a neuropathologist.”

The radiological treatment is conducted on a sub-millimeter level and can be done in one session. It avoids actual surgery, and can be performed as a complementary treatment to more invasive techniques. “We do this with a LINAC (linear accelerator) which works with photons. The patient doesn´t feel a thing. The procedure carried out in 3D, uses an image to guide the way around the tumor with less than 1mm of precision, 360 degrees around the patient.” The machine is made by Varian Medical Systems from Palo Alto, California, the world’s leading manufacturer of these systems.

The treatment has become more widely used in the last ten years because of improvements in image-guided tumor location. “The photon accelerators are now so precise and exact to the size of the tumor itself. The combination of the better imaging techniques with the increased precision in radiation delivery has led to these advances,” said Britton.

The main value CIRRO represents may be that it is no longer necessary to leave the country to receive the best possible cancer treatment. “With this center at Hospital Nacional, we’re at the level of the very best hospitals in the world.”

Dr. Britton has 13 years of experience as a radiotherapist in Panama. The doctors at CIRRO have seen more than 2000 patients between them. For more information on Dr. Keith Britton and CIRRO, call +507 834-5671 or visit


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