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UAB Radiation Oncology adds latest cancer-fighting technology at Acton Road clinic

The UAB Department of Radiation Oncology has launched its new TrueBeam advanced radiotherapy system at UAB Medicine’s Kirklin Clinic at Acton Road.

Clinical staff began treating cancer patients with this new cutting-edge radiation delivery system on April 3, 2023, after a three-month installation and commissioning process.

TrueBeam is Varian Medical Systems Inc.’s top-of-the-line radiotherapy technology, which can be used to treat tumors anywhere in the body where radiation treatment is indicated. It delivers a precise and fast beam of radiation to the tumor while sparing surrounding healthy tissue.

“We are proud to offer the latest cancer-fighting technology to our patients at UAB Medicine’s Kirklin Clinic at Acton Road,” said James A. Bonner, M.D., chair of the UAB Department of Radiation Oncology. “Working with the most-advanced diagnostic imaging tools and treatment systems available is what our patients expect and it allows us to provide them with the best possible care.”

In 2010, UAB was among the nation’s first cancer centers to implement TrueBeam at the Hazelrig-Salter Radiation Oncology Center in downtown Birmingham. This technology drastically reduced standard radiation treatment times from 40 minutes to less than 1 minute for select patients and opened the door to new treatment plans.

Now, patients can benefit from the advanced cancer-fighting technology at the convenient Acton Road clinic right off Interstate 459.

“It will provide patients with more options for where they can be treated with this leading-edge technology,” said medical physicist and assistant professor Jean-Guy Belliveau, Ph.D., who oversaw the commissioning of the TrueBeam at Acton Road. Patients will also benefit from shorter treatment times made possible by advances in technology including the latest safety features and automation, Belliveau explained.

Flexible treatment options, advanced imaging, high-precision dosage control, streamlined treatments, and built-in patient safety features are some of the primary benefits of TrueBeam. Belliveau said the TrueBeam’s advanced digital automation will also allow for a more streamlined workflow for the department’s physicians, medical physicists, dosimetrists, and therapists alike. Less manual intervention will mean less downtime for maintenance and faster processes for quality assurance, he explained.

“This allows us to automate a lot of the workflows we do. It allows us to treat patients faster,” Belliveau said.

The TrueBeam replaces Varian’s Clinac EX linear accelerator at Acton Road. Belliveau said the new technology will also enhance efficiencies between the Acton Road and UAB clinics. “If one TrueBeam is down, a patient could feasibly be treated at the other location without burdensome interventions, he explained.

The new TrueBeam treatment room at the Kirklin Clinic at Acton Road (April 2023).

Source: UAB News

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