Weiss Memorial Hospital unveiled something tonight that will revolutionize cancer treatment for Weiss patients: a linear accelerator. Used to eliminate cancer down to the millimeter, the new linear accelerator (linac for short) targets tumors previously considered too risky to treat.
“I’m proud to say we have state-of-the-art technology in our community,” said Weiss CEO Jeffrey Steinberg, M.D., at the Center for Radiation-Oncology grand opening. “Our oncology facility now rivals any other in Chicago, offering our patients more options in their cancer care.”
Linac therapy is called “external beam radiation.” It enables oncologists to destroy tumors even as the tumors move—as most do due to the patient’s physical changes.
The linac works by continuously interfacing with a CT scanner, using images of the tumor to regulate the exact target of the x-ray beam. A physicist and oncologist oversee the treatment as a uniform dose of high-energy x-rays travels to the patient’s tumor, destroying cancer cells but sparing healthy tissue.
Weiss' new linear accelerator, or linac.
“The linac, along with our newly designed radiation oncology unit and infusion center, will better address the complex and varied needs of our patients,” said David Zweifler, service line director for oncology. “This offers our patients a new level of the comprehensive, individualized care they deserve in a comfortable setting.”
State Representative Sara Feigenholtz helped make the $2.5 million linac a reality with a $1 million grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Bill Foley, Vanguard Chicago market president called the funding “critical.”
Forty-sixth Ward Alderman James Cappleman mirrored that sentiment. “The strongest advocate we have in healthcare is Representative Feigenholtz. I’m the president of her fan club,” he said, addressing the crowd.
Vanguard Chicago market president Bill Foley, State Representative Sara Feigenholtz, Forty-sixth Ward Alderman James Cappleman and Weiss CEO Jeffrey Steinberg, M.D., attended the grand opening.
For Feigenholtz, it’s easy. “I want my constituents to have a medical home, so it is important that we fortify these institutions. I consider you all my family, and I wish you all the best,” Feigenholtz said.
The linac makes the best possible. From the best treatment to the best possible outcomes, cancer therapy at Weiss is now safer and more effective than ever before.
“I’m excited and energized to bring Weiss to the next level in serving our community,” said Dr. Steinberg. “Now the people of Uptown don’t have to travel outside of their community for care.”