New UW Health facility set to house innovative cancer radiation therapy
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A new medical facility planned for Madison’s east side will make UW Health become the first health system in the state to host an innovative form of radiation therapy for cancer patients.
Crews broke ground Tuesday at the Eastpark Medical Center, a 469,000-square-foot facility that will house various specialties. This includes women’s complex care, adult cancer care, advanced imaging and laboratory services and clinical trials.
Proton beam radiation therapy will also be offered for cancer patients, which UW Health explained allows for a highly targeted treatment of tumors.
Dr. Paul Harari, a UW Health radiation oncologist, stated that this type of treatment reduces the damage applied to healthy tissues that is often associated with radiation therapy.
“For children requiring radiation therapy, and for adults with tumors adjacent to vital organs such as the heart, brain, spinal cord, eyes, this treatment can provide the best possible chance for living their best and most fulfilled life,” Dr. Harari said.
The health system touted that it will also be the first in the world to use upright treatment technology in its proton treatments. Normally, patients have to lie flat on a treatment table, then a moving table and then move into a large tube during the treatment. UW Health said this can be a frightening experience for patients, especially children, and the equipment takes up a lot of space.
The new treatment method will allow a patient to lay upright in a more natural position using a robotic chair that moves the patient around the proton beam. CEO of Leo Cancer Care, a medical device company based in Middleton, Stephen Tow said this option is helpful all-around.
“We’ve found this has benefits not only for patients’ comfort, but also the position allows for better breathing, heart function and organ placement,” Towe said. “Beyond the clinical benefits, we think patients should be empowered to be upright looking eye-to-eye with their provider, taking on cancer together.”
The technology from Leo Cancer Care still needs to gain 510k approval before it can be approved to treat patients.
The medical center will be located across from East Madison Hospital and UW Health Rehabilitation Hospital on Eastpark Drive, just off of the interstate. It is set to open in 2024.
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