Alegent Health Reshapes Radiation with TomoTherapy® Hi-Art® System
Release Date: 12/31/2008

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Alegent Health Cancer Center sets new standard for radiation treatment with system designed to enhance clarity, precision and flexibility

Listen to a TomoTherapy Q&A with Dr. Joan Keit, director of Radiation Oncology at Alegent Health Immanuel Cancer Center.

OMAHA, Neb.—Alegent Health is revolutionizing the way cancer patients in Omaha receive radiation treatment with the addition of TomoTherapy® Hi-Art® System. This state-of-the-art treatment system provides physicians greater accuracy and precision in radiation therapy for cancer patients, especially those with breast, lung and prostate tumors. The Alegent Health Cancer Center at Immanuel Medical Center is the first facility in Nebraska and Kansas to install the TomoTherapy system, which combines advanced CT scanning technology with image-guided, intensity-modulated radiation therapy to deliver continuous radiation therapy in all directions.

“The addition of the TomoTherapy system at Immanuel Medical Center allows Alegent Health to further enhance the next generation of care for cancer patients,” said Wayne Sensor, CEO of Alegent Health. “This revolutionary system is the biggest breakthrough in radiation treatment in eight decades and allows our physicians to combine both the compassionate care with enhanced clarity, precision and flexibility to set a new standard for radiation treatment in the Omaha area.”

Unlike traditional radiation therapy equipment which projects radiation from a few directions, the TomoTherapy system is able to deliver precise and powerful doses of radiation therapy to patients from every angle in a 360 degree delivery pattern. The machine’s on-board CT scanner allows clinicians to verify the location of the tumor in relation to organs and healthy tissue increasing the accuracy of treatment.

In addition to the CT capabilities, another major difference in this new system is the way the radiation hits the treatment area. TomoTherapy transforms a single beam of radiation into tens of thousands of tiny beamlets aimed directly at the tumor. These beamlets result in the ability to target hard-to-reach tumors and deliver pinpoint radiation conforming to the tumor shape while avoiding healthy tissues and organs just seconds before treatment begins. Therefore, physicians are able to create precise individual treatment plans for each patient, which can improve outcomes, decrease side effects and create a higher quality of life.

Patients receiving TomoTherapy will follow the same procedure with each treatment. Before each treatment, the patient moves through the unit for a CT scan. Images taken verify the shape, size and location of the tumor.

The CT image is compared to the original planning CT image. If necessary, adjustments to the plan and patient set-up are made immediately. The patient then moves through the unit again where radiation is delivered in tens of thousand of beamlets in a spiral 360 degree pattern around the tumor.

"TomoTherapy is a revolutionary breakthrough in radiation technology and Alegent Health Cancer Center is excited to be the first in the state to offer this to our patients. By combining specialized radiation therapy with daily CT scans, the TomoTherapy Hi-Art treatment system brings greater precision, accuracy and quality assurance to cancer care. This results in improved patient outcomes and a reduction in side effects,” said Dr. Keit, director Radiation Oncology at Alegent Health Immanuel Cancer Center.

Immanuel Cancer Center is part of the Alegent Health Cancer Center network, which features a multi-disciplinary team that treats nearly 1,800 patients each year with common and rare forms of cancer. For more information on the TomoTherapy system or to schedule an appointment, please call (402) 717-CARE (2273) or visit