November 4, 2004

Judie Havers
Communications Consultant
London Regional Cancer Program,
London Health Sciences Centre

New Cancer Treatment Technology Goes Live!

"Hit The Tumour, Miss The Patient"

That's the concept behind a new cancer treatment technology now available for treating cancer patients at the London Regional Cancer Program (LRCP), London Health Sciences Centre.

On Friday, November 5th, 2004 at 1:00 p.m., LRCP will officially launch this exciting new technology.

"Helical Tomotherapy" is a new approach that combines the planning abilities of helical CT scanning with conformal radiotherapy. The acquisition of this new technology is another first in cancer treatment for London. There is only 1 other unit in Canada (Edmonton, Alberta) and only 10 installed worldwide.

Precision radiation delivery will reduce treatment side effects by minimizing damage to healthy tissue. Tomotherapy conforms the radiation to the shape of the tumour, reducing the amount of radiation delivered to nearby healthy tissue. This is possible because the CT scanner built into this radiation treatment machine can be used to determine the exact location of the tumour on each treatment day.

LRCP's strong Physics and Radiation Program teams make London an ideal site for this innovative new treatment. Says Jim Flett, Integrated Executive Vice President, Corporate Services, London Health Sciences Centre, "The addition of tomotherapy continues a tradition of leadership in this field at LRCP and will have a tremendous impact on cancer patients in London and across the Southwest region."

Michael Sherar, Vice President, LRCP and Regional Vice President, Cancer Care Ontario, says, "LRCP continues to be committed to be at the forefront of research and development in radiation therapy. This revolutionary new technology will provide our patients with the most advanced treatment available."

Initially, all patients treated with tomotherapy in London will be part of prospective clinical trials. Dr. Glenn Bauman, Medical Director of LRCP's Radiation Treatment Program says, "This will ensure that this novel technology is introduced in a safe and efficient way, and will guide our future direction by identifying the clinical indications in which helical tomotherapy can be most beneficial."

The tomotherapy unit was built at TomoTherapy Inc. in Madison, Wisconsin. Dr. T. R. Mackie, Ph.D., a Canadian who is a Professor of Medical Physics at the University of Wisconsin and one of the inventors of tomotherapy, will be at LRCP to participate in the celebration.

The acquisition of tomotherapy at LRCP is the result of generous financial support from the community, including Dr. Olive J. Stewart (in memory), Ila M. Stewart, Great West-London Life, the Plunkett Foundation and many other private donors, as well as from LRCP's partners at Cancer Care Ontario and TomoTherapy Inc.

LRCP is a program of London Health Sciences Centre, and serves a population base of 1.2 million people in 9 counties across Southwestern Ontario. LRCP provides radiation therapy and complex chemotherapy, as well as a complete range of support services for cancer patients and their families.