WMCC radiation therapy staff is ready to begin treatments using the newly installed TrueBeam linear accelerator. Back row, left to right: Mazen Mislmani, MD; Jeff Tkac; Jeffrey Radawski, MD; Chen Chen; Kris Lutz. Front row, left to right: Linda Grossheim, MD; Renu Sharma; Lori Burleigh; Holly Henderson; Sherri Jipping.

KALAMAZOO, MICHIGAN —West Michigan Cancer Center & Institute for Blood Disorders (WMCC) will begin treating patients next week using its second TrueBeam™ linear accelerator. The TrueBeam™ is an advanced technology that radiation oncologists describe as a breakthrough in the field.  This state-of-the-art, image-guided system delivers treatments faster with pinpoint accuracy and precision.

“TrueBeam™ not only helps us treat common cancers more effectively but also opens up non-invasive treatment options for patients with challenging cases,” said Linda Grossheim, M.D., WMCC Radiation Oncology Division Chief. “For example, some complex cancers of the head and neck, lung, breast, abdomen and liver are subject to respiratory motion during treatment.  With TrueBeam™, we’re able to tap advanced imaging capabilities and powerful treatment modes which help us target these difficult tumors.”

Treatments with TrueBeam™ are not only precise and powerful but also fast. Treatments that once took 10 to 30 minutes can now be completed in half the time, in some cases. This provides a more comfortable experience for the patient with less time on the treatment couch.  “These are significant reductions in treatment time,” said Dr. Grossheim.  “Patients will spend less time lying still, immobilized on a flat surface.”  Faster delivery also allows for reduced chances of tumor motion during treatment.  That helps protect nearby healthy tissue and critical organs.

“TrueBeam™ is a real game changer that enables us to treat even the most challenging cases with unprecedented speed and precision,” said Michele Fortner, Director of Radiation Oncology at WMCC. “We are also able to treat more patients per day which is a significant benefit to the Southwest Michigan community where the demand for cancer services continues to grow.”

WMCC’s Director of Physics, Paul Jursinic, PhD, continues to be excited with the technology. “This technology lets us bring a wider spectrum of advanced radiotherapy treatment options to many more patients,” said Dr. Jursinic. “It represents an advance in our treatment accuracy with a decrease in the time needed for treatments. This is an enhancement in our ability to help people fight cancer.”