At Mercy Cancer Center we are committed to providing the highest quality of care for the people of northern Iowa and southern Minnesota. Our staff includes board certified physicians in Radiation Oncology, nurses, registered radiation therapists, board certified medical dosimetrists, board certified medical physicist, and support staff. The Radiation Oncology team's integrated approach allows the patient to receive the most advanced and innovative treatments currently available.
The Radiation Oncology Department has two Image Enabled Elekta linear accelerators. These highly sophisticated machines deliver precise dosages of radiation to designated areas of a patient's body. The accelerators produce 6MV and 18MV x-rays and a range of electrons energies allowing treatment to virtually any body area. These accelerators are also equipped with image acquisition technology. The 3D cone-beam imaging performed at the time of treatment provides high-quality images enabling exceptionally precise treatments as well as significantly reduced treatment times. At the treatment control console, therapists will obtain a low dose image, analyze and correct for sub-millimeter patient positioning. Both machines also have multi-leaf collimators (MLC), which enable the oncologists to shape the beam, protecting the healthy tissue surrounding the tumor. Having two Elekta linear accelerators allows:
With an extra large opening for better patient positioning, clinician have freedom to see and access the patient and their entire anatomy. This 16 slice simulator also takes motion management to the next level by seamlessly integrating 4D data into the planning process and providing multi-modality/ multi-phase simulation for the optimal use of state-of-the art treatment methods, including; IMRT, IGRT, and SBRT.
Widely recognized as the most comprehensive 3-D treatment planning system available, our ADAC 3-D Treatment Planning System uses the newest methods of imaging and computing available to create a virtual world of 3-D planning. The system integrates images from standard simulation, CT, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and PET to reconstruct a 3-D image of a tumor and the surrounding healthy structures. The physician, dosimetrist, and physicist manipulate the image in three dimensions and analyze the distribution of the radiation dose within the patient. The end result is a plan that ensures the radiation beam is covering all of the area of concern, that the healthy structures are being protected, and that side effects are minimized.
Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) is an advanced form of therapy that utilizes imaging to deliver a high dose to a small target with sub-millimeter precision. With this technology, treatments are delivered with high geometrical accuracy allowing greater sparing of healthy tissue and fewer radiation treatments.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) is a form of highly precise radiation therapy that targets cancer cells with high doses of radiation while minimizing the exposure of nearby healthy tissue. This enables clinicians to use radiation to treat areas that would once have been considered too risky, including tumors very close to or wrapped around critical organs. For example, in the case of prostate cancer, the bladder or rectum can be protected. The end result is better tumor control, less damage to healthy tissues and structures in the treatment area, and a better quality of life for the patient.