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Linear accelerator

United Hospital is equipped with a state-of-the-art linear accelerator that benefits patients by targeting the tumor area(s) more effectively while reducing most common side effects experienced by patients receiving radiation treatments.

The linear accelerator features Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy, an innovative advancement that uses dynamic multi-leaf collimation to modulate the intensity of the radiation beam. This allows physicians to spare healthy structures adjacent to the diseased areas, thus focusing radiation on the tumor and producing less side effects.

The hospital is also equipped with the first multi-slice, wide-bore CT scanner dedicated to radiotherapy. With its multi-slice CT scanning capabilities LightSpeed RT provides thin, clear images for precise tumor delineation.

Maplewood Cancer Center, which is owned by Minnesota Oncology, a partner with United Hospital in cancer care, owns and operates a Varian Trilogy linear accelerator that is capable of delivering 2D, 3D, IMRT and intra- and extracranial stereotactic radiosurgery/radiotherapy treatment. All stereoscopic images are performed and evaluated by the radiation oncologist prior to each patient's treatment, which ensures the highest amount of radiation beam accuracy. Patient respirations are monitored so that the linear accelerator delivers doses only during selected phases of the respiratory cycle.

The Trilogy linear accelerator and its components are calibrated daily with tolerances of <.5mm, which is essential for the highest amount of accuracy in radiation delivery and correlating localization systems. These extremely precise radiation treatments allow the radiation oncologists to escalate and accelerate prescribed radiation doses. Treatments may also be performed without invasive procedures. Most important, the Trilogy linear accelerator is able to deliver highly conformal radiation isodose coverage to targeted areas while sparing normal, healthy tissues. These linear accelerator outcomes are comparable to that of radiosurgery equipment.