Today, Turville Bay’s Varian TrueBeam linear accelerator and Accuray TomoTherapy HDA are “light year’s ahead of the unit built by the physicists at Stanford in the early 1950’s,” says Richard Hoppe, the Henry S. Kaplan-Harry Lebeson Professor of Cancer Biology and chair of radiation oncology at Stanford. These linear accelerators continually track the position of tumors in real time during treatment. Tracking allows clinicians to deliver larger doses of radiation precisely to a tumor while sparing healthy tissue. They account for patient movement such as breathing, the heart pumping, blood flowing through veins, and subtle movements of the skeleton and muscles, a moving target which our highly trained therapists track to aim beamlets of radiation.
The first medical linear accelerator was built in 1956 at Stanford University and the technology has now been in use for nearly 60 years, treating more than 40 million patients. Varian Medical Systems developed the first linear accelerator that delivered a combination of x-rays and electron treatment in the 1970’s. And Accuray Incorporated developed an additional delivery system easing the treatment of cancers located very near structures of the body like the heart. Now, these companies lead the world in technological advancement to deliver radiation therapy.
To meet the needs of patients in Madison, two community hospitals, SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital-Madison and UnityPoint Health-Meriter joined in a collaborative effort to build our center at John Nolen Drive. The mission of Turville Bay MRI & Radiation Oncology Center is to provide excellent care by skilled and compassionate staff utilizing today’s top technology for patients in the Madison area and throughout south central Wisconsin.