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Newest Innovation in Radiation Treatment for Cancer to be Installed at Reading Hospital

by Tower Health

Jul 19, 2019

McGlinn Cancer Institute to house Pennsylvania’s first MRIdian MRI Linear Accelerator that combines MRI imaging with radiation delivery.

West Reading, Pa. – Tower Health has announced that the McGlinn Cancer Institute at Reading Hospital will be the first in Pennsylvania to install the MRIdian MRI Linear Accelerator, representing an important advance in using radiation to treat cancer. Installation will start in August and the unit will begin treating patients in October.

“The MRIdian MRI Linear Accelerator represents a significant improvement in the precision of radiation treatment for cancer,” said Michael L. Haas, MD, Chief, Section of Radiation Oncology at Reading Hospital. “While the radiation beam is on, the MRIdian device captures a constant stream of real-time data on the location and shape of soft tissues surrounding the tumor. If the tumor or a body organ moves beyond the boundary set by the physician, the radiation beam automatically pauses. When the target moves back into the predefined boundaries, treatment automatically resumes. This means patients get an optimized amount of radiation to the correct location, and it minimizes radiation exposure to surrounding organs. No other radiation therapy offers this level of precision treatment.”

The MRIdian system greatly enhances treatment of tumors in places that can be hard to reach within the body or are located near critical organs such as the heart, lungs, and upper abdomen. It improves targeting precision, allows for delivery of higher radiation doses to the tumor, and minimizes exposure of healthy tissue. When the unit is installed at the McGlinn Cancer Institute, it will be the first of its kind in Pennsylvania and surrounding states, including New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, and Virginia.

The acquisition of the MRIdian system was made possible in part by a donation from the McGlinn Family for whom the McGlinn Cancer Institute is named. “When we established the McGlinn Cancer Institute at Reading Hospital in 2003, one goal was to ensure patients from Berks County and surrounding areas would always have access to the latest cancer treatment options,” said Mrs. Barbara McGlinn, wife of the late Terrence McGlinn. “Our family is pleased, and I know Terry would be pleased, to know that this goal is still being met today with the installation of the new MRIdian unit.”

The McGlinn Cancer Institute at Reading Hospital is nationally recognized for excellence in clinical quality, research, patient education, and community outreach. “The addition of the MRIdian MRI Linear Accelerator represents Tower Health’s constant effort to drive innovation in healthcare for the communities and patients we serve,” said Tower Health President and CEO Clint Matthews. “We are grateful for the partnership and support with the McGlinn Family that empowers our clinical staff to offer the best cancer care available.”

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