World Class Cancer Radiation Therapy Comes to Westlake

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Dr. Joel Elconin uses a computer screen to demonstrate the precise targeting of cancer treatment areas with the new Varian iX radiation equipment installed at UH Seidman Cancer Center in Westlake.

Seidman Cancer Center at University Hospitals Westlake Health Center has upgraded its radiation treatment facility to provide state-of-the-art outpatient radiation therapy.

The newly installed system offers advanced image guidance and treatment accuracy which enables enhanced targeting of the cancer while simultaneously maximally shielding adjacent normal tissue from potentially harmful effects of the X-Ray beams.

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Dr. Joel Elconin, Radiation Oncologist, with Radiation Therapists Ann Marie Fitzpatrick and Josh Lawrence.at the Seidman Cancer Center at University Hospitals Westlake Health Center. New radiation treatment now provides state-of-the-art outpatient radiation therapy.

“There was a 3-month process to install this state-of-the-art equipment,” reports Joel Elconin, MD, clinical director of Radiation Oncology at the UH Westlake Health Center. “It has been in service since March 18 and to my knowledge it is the newest linear acceleration machine in all of Cleveland.”

Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) is a specialized form of treatment in which the radiation dose is delivered using small “beamlets” which are rapidly turned on and off and delivered from various angles around the body. This technique effectively “sculpts” the high-dose radiation area into irregular shapes to match an individual patient’s anatomy which can lessen potential side-effect of treatment and also allow for a higher dose of radiation which can increase the chance for cure.

The Varian iX provides the most precise treatment delivery available because it uses both X-ray and cone-beam CAT scan technology to image the tumor area daily immediately prior to each treatment to enable the physician and treatment team to optimally and quickly align the patient so that the tumor is in the “crosshairs” of the machine with certainty. Image guidance also allows for tracking the response to treatment (i.e. tumor shrinkage) in selected cases.

In addition, Varian’s “RapidArc” innovation provides faster treatment using a technique called volumetric modulated arc therapy.

“A big advantage is patients are treated for a much smaller interval of time now. Three to five minutes is all that is needed in treatments that used to take 15-20 minutes,” said Dr. Elconin.

The faster delivery ensures that patient movement and internal tumor movement will be at a minimum which increases the accuracy of treatment and also greatly improves patient comfort and convenience. “This optimizes treatment of the target zone as the patient does not have to remain stationary as long,” said Dr. Elconin.

The Seidman Cancer Center at UH Westlake Health Center treats adults with most types of cancer and lymphoma.

As clinical director of Radiation Oncology at the UH Westlake Health Center, located at 960 Clague Road in Westlake at the intersection of Clague and I-90, Dr. Elconin may be reached at (440) 250-2011. He welcomes inquiries from anyone who is interested in learning more about this exciting development in radiation cancer medicine.

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