Mercy receives $1.5 million grant to add new radiation therapy technology

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Karen Vander Sanden

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (Thurs., Aug. 23, 2012) – Mercy Medical Center is pleased to announce it has been selected to receive a $1.5 million grant award from the Hall-Perrine Foundation to be used towards the purchase of new radiation technology at the Hall-Perrine Cancer Center.

The True Beam Radiotherapy System (True Beam) is the latest advancement in radiation technology available in the United States. It offers shorter treatment times, creates better outcomes, increases patient safety, and enhances the quality of life for cancer patients. This technology replaces Mercy’s oldest linear accelerator, purchased in 2001, which is being discontinued by the manufacturer.

“This generous gift from the Hall-Perrine Foundation will allow us to meet the community’s need for the very best cancer care close to home,” said Tim Charles, president and CEO of Mercy Medical Center. “The ongoing challenge is that one in two men and one in three women face a lifetime probability of a cancer diagnosis. Based on this high probability, this gift of the newest radiation technology provides patients with the best treatment options available in a comfortable, familiar atmosphere.”

True Beam will give Mercy the capability to offer a Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) program. This technology delivers a high dose of radiation to a very small area, thus allowing the tumor to be treated with just a few treatments. SBRT can fight cancers throughout the body, such as lung, pancreas, and liver, as well as tumors that have invaded the liver and spinal cord from distant organs. SBRT is a well-established approach for treatment of certain cancers and is supported by numerous research trials.

True Beam also has the unique ability to capture images during treatment, which allows for high dose delivery and verification that the tumor stays within the radiation field even with motion from breathing, thus sparing radiation to surrounding healthy tissue.

“The mission of The Hall-Perrine Foundation is to improve the quality of life for the people of Linn County,” said Jack Evans, president of The Hall-Perrine Foundation. “This gift reflects the vision of Howard Hall some 56 years ago when he was instrumental in purchasing the first cobalt radiation technology west of the Mississippi for Mercy.”

The total cost of the True Beam System is $3.9 million. Mercy will pay for the remaining portion of the cost. The new technology is expected to be in place in the fall of 2013.


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