New Swiss interdisciplinary cancer hospital to begin treating patients with Elekta solutions

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Service Interdisciplinaire de Cancérologie will be equipped with Elekta radiotherapy technology, including company’s Elekta Unity MR-Linac

The cancer treatment facilities of Hôpital Riviera (Vevey, Switzerland), in addition to those of five other regional hospitals, are consolidating into a new interdisciplinary cancer care center, Service Interdisciplinaire de Cancérologie (SIC), which is nearing completion in Rennaz. Hôpital Riviera will bring its existing array of Elekta radiation therapy technology to the new facility—including a Versa HD™ linear accelerator—and is finalizing the installation of an Elekta Unity* magnetic resonance radiation therapy (MR/RT) system, the world’s first high-field MR-Linac.

A new vision of patient-centered care

SIC, a center for cancer diagnosis, therapy and monitoring, is unique in Switzerland, according to Sarah Ghandour, PhD, medical physicist at Hôpital Riviera.

“We wanted to create a new vision of patient-centered care by making a transition from the traditional arrangement of separate medical oncology and radiotherapy departments to one that not only merges these departments, but that has as its leadership a medical director and a nursing director,” she says. “The goal is to improve interactions between patients and all health care providers in order to develop an accurate, well-conceived treatment plan using all available medical information appropriately, while also considering the medical, social needs and desires of the patient and family. It’s a way to put the patient at the center of everything.”

Merging the medical oncology and radiotherapy departments will have several benefits, Dr. Ghandour adds.

“Communication between these physically separated departments has not been ideal,” she observes. “Coordinating care by phone and email or even going upstairs to find the radiation oncologist or medical oncologist to consult on a case has resulted in delays in care. In SIC, all the medical staff and administrative personnel will work together as a single entity, which will improve communication, collaboration and the standard of care.”

“We are treating about 550 patients on the Versa HD system equipped with Elekta’s HexaPOD evo-RT system for patient positioning and we are expecting to expand our range of treatments with SBRT in soft tissue, such as liver, pancreas and prostate without using implanted fiducials,” adds Hôpital Riviera medical physicist Marc Pachoud, PhD.

Seeing what you treat

Photo courtesy of N. Dodd

The centerpiece of SIC’s medical oncology/radiotherapy department will be the Elekta Unity system, which enables physicians to deliver radiation to a tumor while simultaneously visualizing the lesion with high quality MR images. This combination allows doctors to see both the tumor and surrounding healthy tissue at any time during radiation delivery and adapt the treatment accordingly.

“We believe that improving treatment outcome depends on the capacity to see the tumor and all its details – its shape and its relationship to nearby healthy organs and, in the near future, even its biology,” Dr. Pachoud says. “Elekta Unity will allow us to track tumor behavior and response during the treatment course, facilitating decision-making in re-irradiation cases.”

“Elekta Unity will be particularly effective for patients with lesions that move, such as GI tumors and for patients with changing morphology on a longer time scale, like head-and-neck tumors,” Dr. Ghandour adds.

In addition to Elekta linear accelerators, SIC will maintain its 100 percent paperless operation with Elekta’s MOSAIQ® Oncology Information System, facilitate the treatment of left-sided breast cancer patients with the company’s Active Breathing Coordinator™ and plan treatments on Unity with Elekta’s Monaco treatment planning system.

“Elekta has been a reliable technology partner of Hôpital Riviera for many years,” Dr. Ghandour says. “It was an easy decision to continue that partnership at SIC.”

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*Elekta Unity is CE-marked and 510(k) cleared. Not available in all markets.

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