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Allina’s Virginia Piper Cancer Institute Adds Advanced Radiation Device

[Allina Newsroom, December 23, 2009] Allina Hospitals & Clinic's Virginia Piper Cancer Institute (VPCI) Radiation Oncology Clinic at Abbott Northwestern Hospital has completed installation of the Trilogy Linear Accelerator with RapidArc™, a fast, precise form of radiation therapy treatment using advanced technology. This will be the second Trilogy Linear Accelerator at VPCI’s Abbott Northwestern Hospital location. The new RapidArc treatment is up to eight times faster than conventional forms of radiotherapy, making it more comfortable for patients and allowing them to spend much less time in the clinic for daily treatments. Abbott Northwestern Hospital is one of only 15 sites nationwide and 70 worldwide, to offer this breakthrough technology. VPCI Radiation Oncology is an early adaptor of this breakthrough technology, and has been planning this implementation since it was introduced to the market approximately a year ago. "RapidArc radiotherapy treatment delivers a tumor-targeting beam with unprecedented speed and precision," says Katie Schwarzkopf, Manager, VPCI Radiation Oncology. "The radiotherapy is delivered with just a single rotation of the treatment machine around the patient. During that rotation, the treatment beam is continually shaped and reshaped according to the particular size, shape and position of the tumor within the body. "This volumetric modulated arc therapy differs from existing techniques because it delivers doses to the whole tumor volume, rather than slice by slice. The treatment planning algorithm ensures high precision, which helps spare the patient's normal, healthy tissue," Schwarzkopf said. With this new technology, a typical 12-minute radiation appointment is now accomplished in less than two minutes. Allina's Virginia Piper Cancer Institute is one of just 18 approved cancer programs in Minnesota; only about 25 percent of all hospitals in the United States have such approved cancer care programs. About Allina Clinics Allina Hospitals & Clinics is a not-for-profit system of hospitals, clinics and other health care services, providing care throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Allina owns and operates 11 hospitals, more than 90 clinics and specialty care centers, and specialty medical services that provide hospice care, oxygen and home medical equipment, pharmacies, and emergency medical transportation services.

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