CINCINNATI—Acquisition of a new-generation linear accelerator is included in a significant expansion under way at the Precision Radiotherapy Center, a state-of-the-art radiotherapy/radiosurgery treatment center for people with cancer, benign tumors and other abnormalities.
The expansion will double Precision Radiotherapy’s size to 16,000 square feet and will more than double the center’s operating capacity, increasing the number of patients treated from 35 per day to 75.
Precision Radiotherapy Center’s growth mirrors the growing oncology presence at UC Health’s West Chester campus, the northern clinical practice site for UC Physicians. Together, Precision Radiotherapy and the West Chester campus are supported by eight radiation oncologists and eight medical oncologists.
Precision Radiotherapy Center, which opened in 2003, is operated by the Mayfield Clinic and UC Health Radiation Oncology, two nationally recognized programs affiliated with the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine. The center works closely with the UC Cancer Institute, the UC Health Barrett Center and the UC Brain Tumor Center.
Loraine Henderson, executive director of business and administration for the UC Department of Radiation Oncology, says the expansion will be especially helpful to referring physicians whose patients live in the West Chester area and the high-growth Cincinnati-Dayton corridor.
"Our patients often are treated over a course of weeks,” Henderson says. "If they live in the northern suburbs, they may not be able to drive downtown for daily treatment.”
In addition to providing state-of-the-art clinical care, Precision Radiotherapy Center is committed to cancer research and education. The center contributes $300,000 annually to the UC Brain Tumor Center for research and an additional $350,000 annually to UC’s departments of neurosurgery and radiation oncology for research and resident education.
"It’s a commitment by Precision Radiotherapy Center to the advancement of cancer research and the training of future cancer specialists for the community,” says Ronald Warnick, MD, co-medical director of Precision Radiotherapy Center, chairman and president of the Mayfield Clinic and professor of neurosurgery and radiation oncology at UC.
Precision Radiotherapy Center’s new treatment machine is the TrueBeam system, the newest linear accelerator manufactured by Varian Medical Systems. It will enable image-guided brain and body radiosurgery (one to five high-dose treatments) and radiotherapy (five to 40 lower-dose treatments) of almost any tumor or abnormality. The radiation is shaped precisely to the tumor, sparing critical structures, and can be delivered, with high precision, in increments of less than a millimeter.
High-energy radiation kills cancer cells by damaging their DNA.
The TrueBeam system, in addition to supporting radiosurgery and general radiotherapy capabilities, also provides Precision Radiotherapy Center with electron beam radiotherapy for the first time. Electron-beam radiotherapy is used primarily for tumors close to the surface of the body, including skin cancers.
"Acquisition of Varian’s TrueBeam system reinforces our mission to provide the most current cancer treatments available to the Greater Cincinnati region,” says John Breneman, MD, co-medical director of the center and professor of radiation oncology and neurosurgery at UC. "As we map out the optimal treatment strategy for each individual patient, we now have the full range of superb radiotherapy options from which to choose.”
"The expanded Precision Radiotherapy allows the sub-specialized clinical expertise of the University physicians to be available to the community with the very latest, state-of-the-art technology,” adds William Barrett, MD, chairman of the radiation oncology department at UC and an expert in the treatment of prostate cancer and head and neck cancer.
The center will also acquire its first wide-bore CT simulator. The CT simulator, manufactured by Philips, will allow pre-treatment imaging for simulation and planning to be performed at Precision Radiotherapy. The large bore size accommodates patients who are in immobilization devices or attached to bulky monitoring devices. The system, which has advanced 4D capability, also will gather important data related to tumors that move when a person breathes in and out. This "respiration motion” data can then be factored into the patient’s treatment plan.
The True-Beam system joins two other valuable treatment options at Precision Radiotherapy:
· The Novalis shaped-beam system, which is used primarily to treat tumors and other abnormalities of the brain and spine. This image-guided system allows for precise localization of the tumor and a treatment beam that mirrors the lesion’s shape and size. The shaped, high-resolution beams strike the tumor from many different directions to minimize exposure to healthy tissue.
· The TomoTherapy Hi-Art System, which is used primarily to treat tumors and other abnormalities outside the brain and spine. This image-guided system can capture CT images of a patient’s tumor immediately prior to treatment sessions, thereby allowing for precise tumor targeting and sparing of normal tissue. The TomoTherapy system is based on intensity-modulated radiotherapy, or IMRT, which allows physicians to adjust the intensity of the radiation during treatment sessions to maximize accuracy and spare healthy tissue.
The Precision Radiotherapy Center provides stereotactic radiosurgery and radiotherapy for the treatment of cancer, benign tumors and other abnormalities of the head and body. Candidates for treatment include patients with lesions of the brain, head, neck, spine, lung, liver, prostate and skin. The center is committed to research and the training of future radiation oncologists and physicists.