EAST FRANKLIN – After six months of renovations, a new radiation machine was unveiled yesterday at ACMH Hospital to their staff and the general public.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held in the Richard G. Laube Cancer Center yesterday for their new state-of-the-art Elekta Infinity Linear Accelerator.
While the name of the device may not recognized by the general public, the new machine offers break-through advancements for administering radiation to cancer patients.
According to Dr. David Parda, Professor & System Chair at the Allegheny Health Network Cancer Institute and Department of Oncology (AHN) in Pittsburgh, this machine puts ACMH on par with bigger Pittsburgh-based hospitals in terms of patient care.
“Our approach at the Allegheny Health Network Cancer Institute is to bring 99% of the cancer care right here to Armstrong (County) and this Linear Accelerator allows us to do that. Ninety-nine percent of what we can do at Allegheny General Hospital, West Penn Hospital, and John Hopkins can be done right here.”
ACMH Hospital President & CEO John Lewis said the new equipment replaced an older radiation system that was more than 15 years old.
“It is an obvious benefit to the community,” he said during opening remarks.
Dr. Tracy Klayton is the Radiation Oncologist at ACMH Hospital. She said the machine is capable of also treating early stages of lung cancer. It also reduces the amount of treatment time from 45 minutes down to as little as 8 minutes.
“This new machine offers many capabilities that our old machine didn’t have,” Klayton explained. “Our new machine is capable of taking a CAT scan very quickly every day before a patient begins a radiation treatment. By doing this, we can make sure our radiation is hitting its intended target and avoiding parts of the body that we don’t want to hit. It is better precision capable of administering higher doses of radiation directly to the tumor with less side effects.”