Mercy Medical Center Offers Cancer Patients Highly Advanced Radiation Treatments

Mercy Medical Center Offers Cancer Patients Highly Advanced Radiation Treatments

Posted on: December 23, 2008

Canton, Ohio: A leader in innovative cancer care, Mercy Cancer Center has become one of only five sites in Ohio to acquire TomoTherapy – a highly advanced cancer treatment system. A first-of-its-kind radiation therapy solution, TomoTherapy combines an intensity-modulated radiotherapy device with a 3D CT scanner that allows physicians to visualize a tumor and apply radiation with greater accuracy and precision.

Unlike traditional radiation therapy, TomoTherapy’s treatment unit doubles as an on-board CT scanner. A tumor can move a few millimeters from one session to the next. With TomoTherapy, CT images can be taken for every patient, every day so the patient’s treatment plan can be modified accordingly. “Three-dimensional images precisely define tumor contours, and these images allow us to adjust the size, shape and intensity of the beams in relation to the tumor’s unique characteristics,” says Edward J. Walsh, M.D., radiation oncologist and medical director of Mercy Cancer Center. “This helps limit the exposure of healthy tissue to radiation,” Walsh says.

Another major difference is the way that radiation hits the treatment area. Conventional radiation therapy machines deliver a wide beam of radiation from only a few angles. TomoTherapy rotates in a 360-degree spiral around the patient, delivering radiation to the tumor from all directions while avoiding critical organs. The result is potential for improved outcomes, fewer side effects and higher quality of life.

“By combining an accelerator – which moves around and along the patient – with a CT scanner, this method provides continuous treatment no matter where the disease is located and follows the cancer’s progression over time,” says Susan Hong, M.D., radiation oncologist at Mercy Medical Center.

How the TomoTherapy Hi·Art treatment system works:

1. Before each treatment, the patient, lying on the couch, moves through the Hi-Art machine for a CT scan, called a CTrue image. Images taken verify the shape, size and location of the tumor.

2. The CTrue image is compared to the original planning CT image (which may have been taken days before). If necessary, adjustments to the plan and patient set-up are made immediately.

3. The patient then moves through the Hi·Art treatment system again where radiation is delivered in tens of thousands of beamlets in a helical pattern (360 degrees) around the tumor.

4. Each procedure takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes.

About Mercy Medical Center
Mercy Medical Center, a nonprofit corporation of the Sisters of Charity Health System and University Hospitals Health System, operates a 476-bed hospital serving Stark, Carroll, Wayne, Holmes and Tuscarawas Counties and parts of Southeastern Ohio. It has 550 physicians on its Medical Staff and employs 2,500 people. Mercy operates outpatient health centers in Carrollton, Jackson Township, Lake Township, Louisville, North Canton and Plain Township. A Catholic hospital, Mercy Medical Center upholds the mission and philosophy of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine and continues to be responsive to the needs of the community, including the provision of care to all, regardless of their ability to pay. For more information, see

About TomoTherapy Incorporated
TomoTherapy Incorporated has developed, manufactures and sells the Hi_Art® system, one of the most advanced and versatile radiation therapy systems commercially available for the treatment of a wide variety of cancers. TomoTherapy Incorporated markets the Hi_Art® treatment system to university research centers, hospitals, private and governmental institutions and cancer treatment centers in North America, Europe and Asia.


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