Watch a time-lapse of the installation of a new linear accelerator that can treat tumors up to 75 times faster
One field that lets you see the dramatic improvements in medical technology is radiation therapy for cancer.
With improvements in visualizing cancer and other diseases without surgery, health care providers can target the disease while minimizing damage to surrounding tissue, according to Daniel J. Lococo, director of radiation oncology for Norton Cancer Institute.
“For example, today some treatment that historically took six to eight weeks can often be completed in as little as one week,” Daniel said.
When the new Norton Cancer Institute – Brownsboro opens in November, it will house a Varian TrueBeam linear accelerator. A linear accelerator is the machine that delivers the radiation beam to the body to destroy the cancer. This $3.5 million state-of-the-art treatment tool will be able to deliver treatments up to 75 percent faster than previous technology. It has the precision to treat a tumor with accuracy down to less than 1 millimeter. For those of us who have trouble remembering our metrics, 1 millimeter is about the thickness of a credit card.
Norton Cancer Institute
Norton Cancer Institute offers seven outpatient locations, three radiation centers and multiple infusion centers across Greater Louisville and Southern Indiana. Same-day appointments are available for new patients.
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Here are a few striking details that reflect what went into creating the home for the new linear accelerator:
- 1,400 yards of concrete for the vault/room
- 18,000-pound solid lead door
- 4.5-foot thick walls
- 7.5-foot thick walls around the room’s “isocenter,” where the main radiation beam travels
- Five cameras that show the patient during the entire treatment, even as the machine (called the gantry) is rotating around
Daniel said beyond technological advances, what excites him most about radiation oncology is seeing the difference it makes in people’s lives.
“Patients and those who love them come to us in need of hope and compassion,” he said. “Being a leader in cancer care means we deliver on those needs to each and every patient we see as if they were our own family.”
Watch a 35-second time-lapse video that shows two days of work that went into installing the new linear accelerator at Norton Cancer Institute – Brownsboro.