Cleveland Clinic Akron General has invested more than $6 million in two new linear accelerator, or LINAC, devices. The state-of-the-art technology delivers highly accurate radiation treatments to cancerous tumors while sparing surrounding tissue. The first one went online in the fall of 2018, and the second one went live in May.

The machines allow cancer patients to receive very precise, shorter and more intensive courses of radiation therapy at each visit with no additional risk of unwanted side effects.

“Some patients with early-stage prostate or breast cancer may only require as few as five radiation therapy visits. Previously, many of them would have required 40 or more visits over an eight-week period. Patients with some other types of cancer are able to trim their total number of treatment visits significantly as well, some to as short as three or four weeks,” said Dr. Mitchel Fromm, chairman of radiation oncology at Akron General.

“Not only do patients require fewer appointments but they are able to have shorter visits as well. The difference may only be a few minutes, but for patients who have pain that makes it difficult to lie on the treatment table, or for children who struggle to keep still, this can be meaningful.”

Akron General’s $6 million investment includes the two new LINACs as well as improvements to the radiation oncology suite, including upgraded control rooms and mechanical updates. The area got an aesthetic refresh as well.