Mercy Health Muskegon Invests in World-Class Technology for Cancer Patients

State-of-the-Art Radiation Oncology Technology at Johnson Family Cancer Center

If you or someone close to you has recently been diagnosed with cancer, you know it can be devastating.

In addition to the emotional shock that many people experience, understanding the treatment options can be daunting. The bottom line is this: You want to get the best care as quickly as possible, using the latest technology, at the hands of a gifted medical team.

Compassionate Care and Cutting-Edge Technology Close to Home

Radiation treatment is used for many types of cancer, including cancers of the prostate, breast, brain, lungs, gynecologic, colorectal, skin, and more. Radiation is delivered using a medical linear accelerator. If you need radiation treatment, you’ll be glad to know that Mercy Health Muskegon continues to invest in top-notch technology.

The Johnson Family Cancer Center (JFCC), on the Mercy Health Muskegon campus, recently replaced one of their linear accelerators with a multi-million-dollar, state-of the-art Varian Truebeam® Linear Accelerator. The new accelerator will begin serving patients by mid-September. Upgrades to the cancer center’s current TrueBeam will give the JFCC two, fully upgraded, state-of-the-art TrueBeams for patient care.

The JFCC currently utilizes many advanced treatment techniques, such as Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy, RapidArc, Image Guided Radiation Therapy, Stereotactic Radiation Therapy, and High Dose Rate Brachytherapy. This new linear accelerator and upgrades to their current TrueBeam will add HyperArc, Iterative Cone Beam CT, and 4D RapidArc. These technologies are all focused on delivering more precise treatments in a shorter amount of time for patients.

Nina Johnson, MD, medical director of the JFCC, along with her team have been caring for cancer patients since 2008. An estimated 9,000 patients have walked through their doors to receive life-saving care.

“We have always kept up with the latest technology since our doors opened, and that is why we are happy to announce our latest upgrade,” said Dr. Johnson. “This new technology will benefit our patients and help us deliver cutting-edge cancer care.”

Advanced Treatment for Patients

The new Varian Truebeam will help deliver the prescribed treatment with greater precision and speed adding to our patients’ comfort as time on the treatment table is reduced.

“This advanced targeted therapy can occur 20 percent faster due to faster beam shaping, gantry rotation, and enhanced treatment imaging,” she said.

Another new feature of the accelerator is its ability to stop and restart itself during treatment if a patient’s tumor moves outside the field (due to a patient’s respiration, for example). This focuses treatment exclusively on the target and spares normal tissue, such as the heart and lungs.

HyperArc is a breakthrough innovation that benefits patients who have been diagnosed with tumors in the brain. “Another capability of our new linear accelerator is that it provides automated, real-time imaging during stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) to the brain, to ensure that the tumor hasn’t shifted during the delivery of our SRS treatment,” added Dr. Johnson.

Our Patient-Care Team

“Our community is fortunate that we have state-of-the-art equipment so close to home. But to receive the full benefit of this technology, you need trained staff to implement and utilize these innovations to their maximum potential. You will find just such a team at the Johnson Family Cancer Center. Our team will continue to deliver precision cancer care while focusing on our patients’ needs.”

To learn more about specialized radiation technology and cancer care at Mercy Health, please visit www.MercyHealth.com/RadiationOncology. The Cancer Network of West Michigan, a joint venture between Mercy Health and Metro Health – University of Michigan Health, leverages the combined resources of two award-winning health systems. To learn about this collaboration, please click here.     

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