Swedish/Edmonds 1st cancer center on West CoastNew Linear Accelerator Reduces Patient Treatment Times
Swedish Cancer Institute (SCI), Radiation Oncology, at Edmonds is the first cancer center on the West Coast to offer radiation therapy using the new Elekta Versa HD™ linear accelerator (linac).
The new linac system was installed this fall at the SCI, Radiation Oncology facility at Swedish/Edmonds, and became operational at the end of November.
“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.
Radiation therapy involves using targeted, penetrating rays of energy (radiation) to destroy cancer cells.
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., a radiation oncologist at SCI, Radiation Oncology, at Edmonds.
“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 SCI, Radiation Oncology, at Edmonds 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 Versa HD is also one of a number of significant investments in technology and advanced medical services recently introduced at Swedish/Edmonds, fulfilling a promise by the hospital system to continue to grow and meet the health-care needs of the community.
Among the new hospital projects and enhancements:
• Construction of a two-story hospital expansion that will feature a new emergency department, urgent care center and more. When complete in fall 2015, it will be the largest expansion at the hospital in more than 40 years.
• In April 2013, the new $11 million Swedish Cancer Institute, Medical Oncology, at Edmonds facility opened.
• In 2012, a new $12 million electronic health record system was implemented at Swedish/Edmonds.
• And in 2011, the hospital became equipped with the da Vinci® Surgical System — advanced robotic technology that allows some types of complex surgical procedures to be performed with greater precision and less invasively.
To learn more about radiation therapy and SCI Radiation Oncology services at all Swedish campuses, visit www.swedish.org/cancer.