Swedish Cancer Institute announces new radiation therapy system

Swedish/Edmonds has a new linear accelerator for radiation therapy and treatment of cancer patients. (Photo courtesy of Swedish/Edmonds)

Swedish/Edmonds has a new linear accelerator for radiation therapy and treatment of cancer patients. (Photo courtesy of Swedish/Edmonds)

Swedish/Edmonds announced today that its Swedish Cancer Institute is the first cancer center on the West Coast to offer a new radiation therapy system that reduces patient treatment times.

Tthe new Elekta Versa HD linear accelerator (linac) system was installed this fall at the SCI, Radiation Oncology facility located at Swedish/Edmonds, and became operational at the end of November, Swedish/Edmonds said in a news release.

“This is a highly advanced, new generation linac system designed to provide our patients with enhanced cancer-care services that offer greater convenience, close to home,” said David Jaffe, chief executive at Swedish/Edmonds.

According to the Swedish/Edmonds release, a linac is a machine that directs high-energy beams of radiation at a cancer tumor. As the patient lies on a table, the linac moves around the patient to deliver a precise dose of radiation from several angles. The new Versa HD at Swedish/Edmonds offers a host of new technological advantages. For example, it is approximately 50 percent faster when performing volumetric modulated arc therapy – a new intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) treatment technique.

“The new linac allows us to see what’s going on inside the patient as we’re delivering the radiation dose and thereby track the progress of the treatment,” said Robert Takamiya, M.D., an SCI radiation oncologist. “Another benefit of delivering precise and accurate radiation with a linac is that we can minimize any side effects of radiation therapy and avoid harming healthy tissue.”

Linacs can be used to treat a broad spectrum of cancers. The top two cancers treated at the Swedish/Edmonds cancer institute are breast and prostate cancers. The new Versa HD is in addition to an existing linac at the facility. Having two machines provides patients with greater convenience when scheduling treatment times and expedites care, the news release said.

You can learn more at www.swedish.org/cancer.

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