BUSINESS BUZZ: New brachytherapy at Sarasota Memorial treats cancer faster, better

Drs. Kunal Saigal, in front, and Matthew Biagioli will administer the high-dose rate brachytherapy treatments on patients with cancer. Both doctors are fellowship trained in brachytherapy.
Drs. Kunal Saigal, in front, and Matthew Biagioli will administer the high-dose rate brachytherapy treatments on patients with cancer. Both doctors are fellowship trained in brachytherapy.

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is adding a new cancer-fighting technique – high-dose rate brachytherapy – to the advanced treatment options available at the Brian D. Jellison Cancer Institute.

Previous techniques include continuous low-dose brachytherapy, in which radioactive seeds are placed inside the body for extended periods of time, requiring patients to remain hospitalized and isolated, often for days, while completing a treatment. In the case of prostate cancer, radioactive seeds often are permanently implanted in the body.

That continuous low-dose technique is being replaced with high-dose rate brachytherapy, a newer, accelerated treatment that allows physicians to deliver equivalent doses of radiation in as little as one to four outpatient treatments that last just a few minutes each. Unlike older techniques, the radioactive source is removed after each session, allowing patients to go home the same day and safely be around others, including children and pregnant women.

HDR brachytherapy has demonstrated superior outcomes for several types of cancer, including uterine (endometrial) and prostate cancers, said Dr. Kunal Saigal, who oversees radiation oncology services at the Jellison Cancer Institute.

• Bank-Assist of Florida, LLC will host a ribbon cutting Nov. 29, at 9 a.m., at the Venice Area Chamber of Commerce, 597 S. Tamiami Trail.

Bank-Assist of Florida offers in-home financial assistance, bookkeeping services and document organization. Owner Cathleen Levine, a Daily Money Manager professional, has extensive banking experience.

A few of the individuals who may benefit from Bank-Assist’s services are seniors who have trouble managing their day-to-day noninvestment finances; adults who have been victims of scams; people with disabilities who can’t manage their finances; anyone going through a life change such as the death of a spouse or a divorce; and gambling and spending addicts.

Bank-Assist is accredited with the Better Business Bureau, insured, bonded and registered with the American Association of Daily Money Managers.

To RSVP to the ribbon cutting or for more information, send an email to 941-278-5478;

• The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce’s Opportunities For All initiative recently announced the awardees for the 2022 Business Assistance Funds Program at Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe. This program was designed to assist minority, small business owners and nonprofit organizations with resources that will help local businesses grow and thrive.

Of the 70 applications submitted, 45 local businesses were chosen.  The award recipients were chosen by a selection committee made up of local business owners and leaders in our community.

They are:

AGA Tax and Consulting Services LLC, Ambrosian Touch LLC, Anointed Hands One Stop Shop Hair, Beauty and More LLC, Around The Way Transportation, Black and Tan Cigar Bar and Lounge, C&C Supplies and Services, Caring & Dedicated Healthcare Services LLC, Castle Concierge LLC, Clover Lane Media, LLC/Manasota Moments, Compound Catering LLC, CreArte Latino Cultural Center Corp., Dapper Bowtique LLC, Drummerboy Entertainment, Happy Soul, Her Beauty Lounge, Jah Movement, KB In Bloom LLC, Kenny Klean Cut Lawn Service LLC, King HR Services Inc., Krewe Du Sno-Ball LLC, Little Caterpillar Early Child Care LLC, M.G.V. Natural Soap & Cosmetics Services LLC and Margwine Organization Inc.

Minorities in Shark Sciences, Mountain View Media Inc., My Reality Speaks LLC, Queens Of Domestic Violence Awareness Inc., Rosalyn Walton Education and Enrichment Services Inc., Sarasota African American Cultural Coalition Inc., Sean Presley Project LLC, Settles Stump Grinding & Tree Service LLC, Shavonda Sharre Griffin, LLC, Shift Avenue LLC, Herrera Psychology, Sticks On the Go LLC, Styles By Maria 2, Styles By Maria 365, Little Medical School Suncoast, Symplifyed HR Consulting LLC, The Bee Haven, Time to Change with Denise, Davis and Davis Consultant LLC, Velazquez Tire Shop Corp., Kopies and More and Williams Solid Solutions LLC.

The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce funded this program through the Opportunities For All grant provided by the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation.

For more information, contact Melanie Lavender, Opportunities For All manager, at

• The city of North Port held its first Quarterly Business Welcome for new businesses in the area Nov. 14.

City staff and officials joined with partners from the Sarasota County Economic Development Corporation, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s SCORE, the Florida Small Business Development Center, CareerSource Suncoast and the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce to welcome these new businesses and let them know about the resources available to help ensure their success in the North Port market.

In the last fiscal quarter, July-September 2022, the city of North Port gained 58 new businesses. The QBW event acknowledged these businesses with signed certificates and ribbon-cutting photos.

This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Better radiation treatment for cancer, grants for small businesses