Piedmont Newnan adds second Linear Accelerator for Radiation Therapy


From Special Reports

Piedmont Newnan’s Radiation Oncology recently added a second Linear Accelerator and has already begun treating the first patients.

The new technology provides a higher level of care for cancer patients receiving radiation and provides the best treatment available, keeping patients close to home for care.

“Piedmont Newnan’s mission is to make a positive difference in every life we touch,” said Mike Robertson, Piedmont Newnan CEO. “With that in mind, we are continually growing clinical services and our hospital to meet our communities growing demand for patient care, including adding the latest technology available.”

The new TrueBeam system provides a higher level of radiation treatment with the following patient benefits:

• Advanced image-guided radiation therapy system with more speed and accuracy then older generation machines.

• It can deliver treatments up to 75% faster than other advanced radiation machines.  This allows for a more comfortable experience for the patient.  Faster delivery also allows for reduced changes of tumor motion during treatment, which helps protect nearly healthy tissue and critical organs.

• RapidArc technology used in planning and treatment delivery results in mean treatment times as short as a minute.

• New treatment modality for Piedmont Newnan:  SBRT (Stereotactic Body radiation Therapy).  This is a treatment procedure that delivers high dose ablative radiation dose to small tumors.  A specially designed coordinate-system is used for the exact localization of the tumors in the body in order to treat it with few fractionated radiation treatments (usually up to 5 treatments).  This specialized form of radiation involves the use of multiple radiation beam angles with the ability to safely deliver high doses of radiation, with very sharp dose gradient outside the tumor and into the surrounding normal tissue.

• Varian PerfectPitch 6 degrees of freedom (6DoF) couch is designed to deliver advanced radiation therapy techniques with a high level of accuracy and reproducibility.  The 6DoF couch adjusts seamlessly on six axes,   making it possible to treat more patients with higher degree of accuracy and reduced treatment margins in selected clinical cases.

“The images we receive from the new TrueBeam are clearer and more accurate, allowing you to see the cancer and treatment area better,” said Diana Santiago, M.D., specializing in radiation oncology. “The set-up for treating the patient is also easier which means patients are on the treatment table for a shorter amount of time.”

Lalla McGee of Newnan, one of the first patients to receive radiation treatment on the new linear accelerator, recently completed her radiation treatment for breast cancer on the new machine.

“The new machine has more set-up capabilities, the treatment is more accurate and we receive clearer images. It is a quieter machine and the time the patient is on the table is cut in half which is a huge benefit to our patients. It’s like going from a Honda to a Cadillac,” said Taylor Gray, radiation therapist.

For some types of cancer, including prostate cancer, the number of treatments needed is shortened as well. The new technology also has added safety measures in place that protect each patient.

“The patient is protected as the new technology prevents the machine from being too close to the patient. We love it. It is a very smart, automated machine. We no longer have to go in the room to adjust the machine. When the table moves, it auto-adjusts,” said Helen Coursey, radiation therapist.


Pictured above is Lalla McGee of Newnan, one of the first patients of the new linear accelerator.

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