Saint Joseph Mercy Health System has one of the largest radiation oncology departments in Michigan, led by a team of experts who are dedicated to patient-focused care. SJMHS continues to invest in the most advanced cancer treatment technologies.
Southeast Michigan’s First Rapid Arc Linear Accelerator
In 2010, at our Canton Cancer Center, SJMHS unveiled the first Rapid Arc Linear Accelerator in Southeast Michigan. Rapid Arc technology delivers a highly precise treatment much faster than other accelerators. Treatments that once took up to 35 minutes can sometimes be accomplished in as little as a single rotation of the machine around the patient in about 2 minutes! This Accelerator also has Cone Beam CT Scan capabilities. CBCT makes it possible to see the organs and target area right before turning on the radiation beam so that the beam is more precisely aimed at the target area.
Rapid Arc rotates 360 degrees around the patient, enabling the very small beams with varying intensity to be aimed at the tumor from multiple angles. Unlike other forms of radiation therapy, with Rapid Arc the radiation treatment being delivered to the patient can be modulated continuously throughout treatment. This means that higher doses of radiation are delivered to hit the tumor harder, and less radiation is delivered to surrounding healthy tissue.
Linear Accelerators (External Beam Radiation)
SJMHS has five linear accelerators with the most advanced technology capable of delivering stereotactic radiosurgery, IMRT, IGRT and 3D / 4D Gating.
Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) is a specialized form of radiotherapy that involves the use of multiple high-energy x-ray beams that are more exactly shaped to fit a patient's tumor. The patient individualized treatment plan is calculated to deliver a more precise radiation treatment, resulting in the sparing of normal healthy tissue and lowering the chance of side effects.
Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) is a more precisely targeted radiation treatment enhanced by daily imaging technology. CT or x-ray images taken immediately before or even during the treatment in combination with specialized computer software enable the physician to see a 3 dimensional picture of the tumor and any movement of it within the body. Using IGRT can achieve better patient outcomes with fewer side effects. This is particularly useful when treating tumors in areas of the body that are prone to movement such as prostate, breast, lung, spine, head/neck cancers and other sites located close to critical organs.
CT Planning System
The unique CT scanner with a large opening enables patients to be scanned with positioning devices and other apparatus without compromising image quality or positioning. It also provides visualization of multiple breathing phases giving the physician the tools to assess organ and tumor motion in a more precise way. The CT in combination with the radiation therapy planning system merges scan images with other imaging technology (i.e. PET and MRI) to achieve the most precisely targeted radiation treatment plan.
Research and Clinical Trials
SJMHS has one of the nation’s leading Community Clinical Oncology Programs (CCOP) designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). This partnership allows access to Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) protocols and other NCI sponsored cooperative groups to provide the latest treatments for our patients.