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Atrium Health Levine Cancer installs accelerator for Mevion proton therapy system

Press releases may be edited for formatting or style | December 12, 2023 Rad Oncology Proton Therapy
CHARLOTTE, N.C. & LITTLETON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Atrium Health Levine Cancer achieved a groundbreaking milestone with the delivery and start of installation of a state-of-the-art proton accelerator unit. Weighing in at 15 tons, this crucial piece of equipment will serve as the powerhouse for proton beam therapy at the Atrium Health Levine Cancer Proton & Advanced Radiation Center, upon completion of installation next year.

Proton beam therapy targets radiation precisely to a tumor, leaving the areas around it unharmed. It’s been used clinically for more than 60 years and has been proven to be safe, effective and to improve the quality of life for patients. It is not widely available, however, due to the expertise, expense and space it requires for hospitals to install and maintain. By providing this powerful treatment in Charlotte, adult patients at Levine Cancer and pediatric patients at Atrium Health Levine Children’s will be able to receive this advanced therapy close to home.

“This is one of the final steps in completing the Atrium Health Levine Cancer Proton and Advanced Radiation Center,” said Dr. Ruben Mesa, president of Atrium Health Levine Cancer. “It will play a pivotal role in advancing cancer care for patients across the region. This cutting-edge technology will enhance patient outcomes and provide hope to many families who would have to travel outside of Charlotte to receive these life saving treatments.”

“We congratulate Atrium Health for becoming the first in the Carolinas, and one of only a small number of health systems, nationwide, to offer this cutting-edge therapy,” said Tina Yu, president and CEO of Mevion Medical Systems, which manufactures the proton therapy equipment. “Mevion transformed radiation oncology by inventing compact proton therapy. With this technology, Atrium Health will be able to offer its patients this ideal treatment for many types of tumors, especially tumors in sensitive locations of the body and in pediatric patients.”

The accelerator unit – the engine of the proton center – was delivered on Saturday, Dec. 9, on the campus of Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center, where Levine Cancer is based. The unit traveled 900 miles from Mevion headquarters in Littleton, Massachusetts, via delivery truck on a trailer. Upon arrival at the building in which the unit will be housed, the accelerator was hoisted via a crane into the building.

In addition to proton beam therapy, the Proton and Advanced Radiation Center will also soon offer gamma knife radiosurgery, a unique technology that targets brain lesions that are difficult to treat through surgery or radiation due to their location. Like proton therapy, gamma knife radiosurgery delivers targeted radiation with extreme precision, leaving very few effects on the tissue around it. It is done entirely as an outpatient procedure and doesn’t require an incision or general anesthesia. While it can treat other conditions of the brain, gamma knife radiosurgery’s most common use is for brain metastases.

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