With the number of new cancer cases globally expected to rise by about 70 percent over the next two decades[1-2], access to radiotherapy – a key treatment modality for up to 60 percent of cancer patients – is more critical than ever. Since the manufacture of its first linear accelerator (linac) six decades ago, Elekta (EKTA-B.ST) has been committed to providing radiotherapy systems to every corner of the world. Hallym University Kangnam Sacred Heart Hospital (Seoul, Republic of Korea) will receive Elekta’s 5,000th linac assembled at its Crawley, England facility. A linac is a machine for delivering external beam radiation to cancer in any part or organ of the body. Using special beam-shaping technology to conform to the tumor’s shape, the linac delivers high-energy X-rays or electrons to the target – destroying cancer cells while sparing surrounding healthy tissues.
“Every linear accelerator we build and deliver means that thousands of people, somewhere – maybe even at a place that didn’t have a single radiotherapy system before – will receive a treatment that can prolong or even save their lives,” said Steve Wort, Elekta’s Chief Operating Officer. “That makes this 5,000th milestone more than just a corporate achievement – it reinforces our mission to continue increasing access to this vital healthcare technology for patients all over the world.”
Hallym University Kangam’s new radiotherapy system is Elekta’s most sophisticated digital linac, Versa HD™ equipped with the Agility™ multi-leaf collimator (MLC) and integrated imaging technology for highly targeted, ultra-conformal treatment of cancers all throughout the body.
“We congratulate Elekta on its significant linac milestone and are honored to be a part of it,” says Kyoung Ju Kim, MD, director of Radiation Oncology at Hallym University Kangnam Sacred Heart Hospital. “Throughout the last 13 years of our center’s service to patients, our mission has been to provide the highest level of healthcare. The Versa HD system’s advanced cancer treatment capabilities are in perfect harmony with that mission.”
A tradition of precision radiation medicine
Versa HD represents the culmination of six decades of Elekta linac innovations, allowing the delivery of high definition dynamic radiosurgery (HDRS) which allows stereotactic treatments (SRS & SBRT) throughout the body to be delivered in standard treatment slots. This history is punctuated by numerous radiotherapy industry firsts, including:
Elekta’s Crawley plant also is the birthplace of the industry’s fastest MLC (Agility) and the world’s first high field MR-linac, Elekta Unity. Unity integrates an advanced linac with a 1.5T magnetic resonance system, enabling doctors for the first time to “see what you treat” during the delivery of radiation beams and to adapt the treatment in real time.
Elekta recently consolidated much of its research and development resources in the new 45,700 square meter (150,000 sq. ft.) Cornerstone facility on Elekta’s Crawley campus. Cornerstone was designed to serve as an international radiotherapy hub and a magnet for oncology innovations for the coming decades. It is home to 750 Elekta employees, comprising engineers, scientists, clinicians and customer-facing professionals.
“The Cornerstone facility attracts the finest clinical and scientific minds in radiotherapy to collaborate with us on new concepts in oncology,” says Elekta President & CEO, Richard Hausmann. “In addition to being a prolific manufacturer of this life-changing technology, we are a leading innovator, pushing the boundaries of precision radiation medicine. We’re confident this will result in a continuous stream of technological breakthroughs that will benefit individuals with cancer.”
Elekta manufactures 5,000th linear accelerator . Appl Rad Oncol.