Atlantic Health System's new Siemens radiation equipment to combine tumour diagnosis and treatment

Morristown 27 July 2000The Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Atlantic Health System's Morristown Memorial Hospital has unveiled the United States's first CT-on-Rails/Linac System. The radiation therapy system was presented in the hospital's Forbes Amphitheater followed by a tour of the CT-on-Rails/Linac in the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center. The Siemens CT-on-Rails/Linac consists of a Somatom Plus 4 Sliding Gantry and a Primus Linear Accelerator. It provides oncologists with accurate, virtual real time diagnostic-quality images of tumours within the treatment room.


"The innovative CT-on-Rails/Linac System represents an extraordinary breakthrough in the field of radiation therapy", stated James R. Wong, M.D., chairman of the Radiology Department at Atlantic's Morristown Memorial Hospital. "The system allows the patient to remain on one table while his or her tumour is pinpointed and treatment is more accurately delivered. Current procedures require the patient to be relocated from a diagnosis area to the treatment table, thus increasing the potential for the tumour or internal organs to move."

"I would, personally, equate the use of this system to the discovery of ether for surgery", Dr. Wong continued. "Just as ether allows the patient to undergo surgery without movements, the CT-on-Rails/Linac System enables the patient to undergo radiation therapy without organ movement."

The CT-on-Rails/Linac System's gantry moves along a set of high precision rails, bringing diagnostic imaging capability quickly and easily to the patient on the treatment table. The gantry encircles the patient who is lying on the treatment table, and makes incremental movements during the scanning process. The gantry is easily retracted when image acquisition is complete. Based on the updated tumour localisation data, the system will then deliver the most optimal radiation therapy to the tumour while providing maximal sparing of normal tissue.

"The sliding gantry option for the CT-on-Rails/Linac constituted the technological achievement needed to bring accurate diagnostic imaging to the therapy room", commented Pat Boyle, the group vice president of Siemens Oncology Care Systems. "The advantages of imaging and treating a patient in the same controlled environment, from the same patient table, are truly significant."

"With the addition of the state-of-the-art CT-on-Rails/Linac System, Atlantic Health System advances radiation therapy and enhances our high quality of care", stated Joseph Trunfio, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Atlantic Heath System. "In fact, you cannot find more advanced radiation treatment in the United States."

The Siemens Oncology Care Systems Group world headquarters is located in Concord, C.A. The Group develops and markets a range of radiation therapy and electronic information products as solutions for the worldwide oncology market. The company forms a part of Siemens Medical Engineering Group, Erlangen, Germany, one of the largest suppliers of health care services in the world.

The Medical Engineering Group employs 19.000 worldwide and has reported fiscal year-end sales of $5 billion. In the United States, the Oncology Care Systems Group is part of Siemens Medical Systems Inc., Iselin, New Jersey, which employs nearly 4500 people in the United States and reported annual sales of approximately $1.8 billion.

Atlantic Health System, one of the largest health care systems in New Jersey, includes Morristown Memorial Hospital, Overlook Hospital in Summit, Mountainside Hospital in Montclair/Glen Ridge, The General Hospital Center at Passaic, and affiliates Newton Memorial Hospital and Bayonne Hospital. Atlantic hospitals serve nearly five million people in 11 counties in northern and central New Jersey, have a combined total of 1662 beds and provide a wide array of health care services. Three of Atlantic's hospitals offer graduate medical education programmes with a variety of specialities.

The system, which ranks among the top 100 integrated health care networks nationwide, according to SMG Marketing Group, a Chicago-based health care information and marketing company, also includes The Rehabilitation Institute at Morristown Memorial Hospital and numerous community health facilities.

Speciality services include The Children's Medical Center of Atlantic Health System, the Atlantic Health System Neuroscience Institute, The Brain Tumour Center of New Jersey, Atlantic Home Care and Hospice, and Atlantic Behavioural Health. Atlantic also maintains a partnership with The Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Atlantic Health System's hospitals, behavioural health programme and home care and hospice programme are accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health care Organisations (JCAHO).

Leslie Versweyveld

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