Varian 21 EX Linear Accelerator
Radiation therapy patients at Riverside Medical Center receive treatment from the world’s most advanced linear accelerator called the Varian 21 EX Linear Accelerator. This powerful linear accelerator uses Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), a state-of-the-art radiation therapy technique, to precisely target the cancer with radiation while minimizing damage to surrounding areas. It is located at the Betty Burch Bridgewater Center for Radiation Therapy within the Rush-Riverside Cancer Institute.
The Varian 21 EX offers a diverse array of radiation energy options for treating patients, regardless of tumor size and location. Itfeatures a computer-controlled device called a multileaf collimator (mlc) that shields the normal area around the tumor from radiation exposure. The mlc has 120 independently controlled high-density metal leaves that shape the radiation beam, eliminating the need for lead blocks required with older machines. The 21 EX is also equipped with a portal imager that allows the physician to take digital images during treatment delivery, providing immediate verification of treatment accuracy. Plus, the 21 EX can perform special procedures such as stereotactic radiosurgery. A sophisticated CT-simulation system is used for pre-treatment planning and precise tumor localization.
Patients benefit from:
- Reduced incidence of side effects due to the greater precision and accuracy in focusing radiation directly on the tumor
- A degree of precision that allows IMRT to avoid damage to the healthy tissue surrounding the tumor
- Improved cosmetic results because IMRT causes far less damage to healthy tissue
- Reduced procedure prep time
- Reduced treatment time because the entire process is conducted using a sophisticated computer system