Northside Forsyth unveils new linear accelerator for cancer treatment

Northside Hospital Cancer Institute has expanded radiation therapy services at Northside Hospital Forsyth with the addition of a brand new, advanced linear accelerator.

More new cases of cancer are diagnosed and treated at the Northside Hospital Cancer Institute each year than anywhere else in Georgia. Nearly two-thirds of all patients with cancer receive radiation therapy at some point during their treatment.

The Varian Medical Systems’ TrueBeam® is an advanced linear accelerator – fully integrated for image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT), intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and RapidArc® radiotherapy and radiosurgery.

The new technology allows Northside to better accommodate a growing number of patients requiring cancer treatment in Forsyth County – to see more patients, while reducing wait times they might experience.

IGRT uses advanced imaging to allow doctors and clinicians to see tumors in real time, so that they can correct the patient’s position and treat the cancer precisely. The new linear accelerator, which replaces an earlier Varian model, incorporates Vision RT motion-management imaging technology to address the challenges of patient’s moving during treatment and increase the accuracy and safety of each treatment. It tracks the patient in 3D real time, calculating any movement (including breathing) the patient makes.

The new linear accelerator treats cancer anywhere in the body where radiation treatment is indicated and opens the door to new possibilities for the treatment of challenging cases such as cancers in the lung, breast, abdomen, and head and neck as well as other cancers that are treatable with radiotherapy.

With IMRT, staff can customize a patient’s radiation dose by varying (or modulating) the amount of radiation that is sent to different parts of the tumor. RapidArc® technology, also available on Northside’s TrueBeam, takes IMRT a step further, generating higher doses of radiation and treating the entire tumor in a single arc around the patient, while sparing normal, healthy tissue and dramatically reducing the amount of time the patient spends on the couch.

TrueBeam also includes iterative cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) imaging, which allows physicians to view higher-quality, sharper images of the target area and have increased confidence in their patient’s position during treatment. The combination of these features mean that Northside is able to deliver the most accurate and safest radiation therapy possible.

The TrueBeam at Northside Hospital Forsyth is the first linear accelerator in Atlanta with this technology.

New technology, state-of-the-art facilities and expert, compassionate staff have made Northside Hospital Cancer Institute one of the largest and most respected cancer care providers in Georgia,” says Debra Corbin, director of radiation oncology, Northside Hospital Cancer Institute.

While we hope no one ever needs our services, we are honored that so many patients have trusted Northside with their cancer care,” Corbin said. “We remain committed to offering a full continuum of treatment options to give each patient the very best chance for a cure.”

The Northside Hospital Cancer Institute Radiation Oncology at Forsyth saw more than 8,000 patients in 2018. The new linear accelerator in Forsyth is Northside’s fifth TrueBeam – additional machines are at Northside Hospital Cancer Institute locations in Alpharetta, Canton, Midtown Atlanta and Sandy Springs. In all, more than 52,600 radiation treatment procedures were performed at Northside facilities in 2018.

Northside Hospital Cancer Institute offers more radiation oncology centers and advanced radiation therapy treatment units than any other hospital system in Georgia.

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