BY SABRA STAFFORD
Typically, the 10-year anniversary is celebrated with something made of tin, but the partnership between Emanuel Medical Center and Stanford Health Care opted to go for something with a bit more heft to it.
The Stanford Emanuel Radiation Oncology Center, a joint venture between Stanford Medicine, Stanford Health Care and Emanuel Cancer Center, recently added a second linear accelerator, a multimillion-dollar technology that generates focused doses of therapeutic radiation for patients undergoing cancer treatment.
By doubling its capacity, SEROC can now treat more patients and it brings the latest advances in radiotherapy to Turlock. The increased capacity at SEROC ensures that patients who need radiation therapy have more treatment options than ever, at more convenient times.
“One of the immediate benefits the new accelerator has brought is the ability for all patients to be treated during regular business hours,” said Alisa Ward, manager at the radiation oncology center. “With only one machine, we were scheduling patients with appointment times anywhere from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m.”
The new linear accelerator joins an accelerator initially installed when SEROC opened in 2007. At SEROC, patients are treated by Stanford physicians and physicists, including radiation oncologists Dr. Quoc Luu and Dr. Sandra Zaky.
“Having a second linear accelerator provides double the amount of access to radiation therapy for patients in the Central Valley,” Dr. Zaky said. “The new machine will complement the advanced treatments that are already being provided at SEROC. The new machine will continue to provide world-class Stanford care in the greater Turlock community.”
Both accelerators possess the technology to precisely target tumors using advanced imaging technology, and then deliver carefully calibrated doses of radiation to those tumors.
With the addition of the new linear accelerator, physicians will be able to match patients to the machine that best complements their physical and treatment needs, Ward explained.
The new accelerator was installed, tested and inspected over the summer, and is now in operation. Stanford Emanuel Radiation Oncology Center is located in the Emanuel Cancer Center at 880 E. Tuolumne Road in Turlock.