October 15, 2013
For immediate release
Contact: Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654
Installation of a new radiation therapy treatment machine and a remodel of the radiation treatment room have combined to make for a very busy summer and fall at the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center.
The new machine, an Elekta Infinity™ linear accelerator, will enable Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center physicians to offer radiation therapy treatment capabilities not previously available at the Cancer Center. The new linear accelerator will help patients in several significant ways:
“Our patients deserve the very best in technology,” said Tina Dickerson, director of the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center. “With our new accelerator, we have the latest in treatment modalities to offer. We’re excited to have the Elekta at the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center and are ready to begin treating patients very soon.”
The installation took over two months because of the complex nature of the construction. The linear accelerator is a very heavy machine, requiring a very thick concrete floor for support. During construction, Tuality/OHSU radiation therapy patients were treated at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute clinic in Beaverton. The new linear accelerator will be used to treat its first patient on Oct. 16, 2013.
“This technology has really matured in the past 10 years. It allows us to combine the delivery of radiation therapy with precise localization of the target through imagining. It also allows us to deliver radiation faster and more precisely,” said Dr. Charlotte Dai Kubicky, the radiation oncologist who serves as medical director of the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center.
The capability of the Elekta machine makes it possible to visualize the treatment target with the real-time imaging, minimizing the dose to the normal structures surrounding the cancer lesion, while increasing the ability to ensure that the target is getting the full dose of lethal radiation, Kubicky added. This advantage might prove to lead to better outcomes, higher cure rates and less toxicity associated with the treatment. With this treatment option, physicians also will be better positioned to enroll Tuality/OHSU patients in national clinical trials investigating new cancer treatment approaches, most of which require the modern technical sophistication available on the new Elekta machine.
A radiation therapy session using the old linear accelerator could last from 30 to 40 minutes. The new machine can deliver the same therapy in as little as 5 minutes, Kubicky said. “Sometimes patients have a hard time holding still for 40 minutes on the machine,” she said. “Five minutes is a lot easier for the patient. It’s a significant improvement in quality of life.”
Adding the new linear accelerator makes it possible for patients to get state-of-the-art treatment in their community. “With this machine, we have technology that is on par with any hospital in the Portland area,” said Richard Crilly, medical physicist at the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center. “It has the ability to allow us to see where we we’re going to put the radiation and, with this increased accuracy, the probability of a positive result goes up.”
Dickerson said the entire Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center treatment team is very excited about the new linear accelerator. “It’s a wonderful machine,” she said. “It will offer a lot of benefits for our patients.”
The radiation treatment room also was completely remodeled. According to Steve Krautscheid, Tuality director of facilities and properties, the goal was to “provide a superb patient experience.”
For more information on the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center, visit the website at http://www.tuality-ohsu-cancercenter.org