Premier radiation equipment launches at Legacy Mount Hood

Gresham, OR  – Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center significantly advanced its cancer care capabilities recently with the launch of the latest generation of the Elekta Infinity™ linear accelerator, one of the most technologically advanced forms of cancer treatment.  The linear accelerator enables Legacy Cancer Institute’s Mount Hood-based team of radiation oncology specialists to deliver the most precise and effective radiation treatments available today directly to patients in their community.

Specifically, the new equipment delivers radiation directly and aggressively to the tumor while sparing the surrounding healthy tissue—essentially shrink-wrapping the cancer in radiation.  This level of precision minimizes unnecessary radiation exposure and potential long-term side effects of radiation therapy.

“Legacy Cancer Institute is thrilled to bring this caliber of cancer care directly to patients in East County,” said Kathryn Panwala, M.D., Legacy Cancer Institute radiation oncologist based at Mount Hood.  “The launch of Legacy Mount Hood’s new linear accelerator provides our community with convenient access to the most advanced cancer treatment available.” 

One specific feature of Legacy Mount Hood’s linear accelerator will allow patients in East County to be treated locally with Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT), an extremely targeted and intense form of radiation therapy that is the preferred option for certain types of cancers, including early stage lung cancer – one of the most common cancers treated at Legacy Cancer Institute.

“The new radiation oncology equipment is the latest example of how Legacy continues to invest in our nationally recognized cancer program,” said Gretchen Nichols, chief administrative officer of Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center.  “But the equipment is not the entire story – our cancer specialists bring not only expertise, but also a personalized approach to patient care that result in better outcomes and higher patient satisfaction.”

Legacy Cancer Institute, which includes the Mount Hood-based cancer services, recently earned re-accreditation through the American College of Surgeons prestigious Integrated Network Cancer Program. Legacy was the first and is still the only health system in Oregon to earn this recognition.  

 Legacy Mount Hood’s upgrade is in conjunction with extensive upgrades being made to Legacy Cancer Institute’s radiation oncology equipment across the system, to which patients in East County have direct access. Specifically, Legacy is transforming the way it treats brain tumors and metastatic disease with the acquisition of the ultra-precise and minimally-invasive Gamma Knife radiation and radiosurgery technology and revolutionary BrainPath neurosurgery technology. These technologies, even more effective when implemented together, offer new hope to brain cancer patients with tumors that previously were considered inoperable.

Additionally, Legacy Good Samaritan launched its state-of-the-art linear accelerator in April 2013 and Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center in Vancouver is slated to upgrade its linear accelerator in May 2013.