Key Points to Consider for Linac Removal


Removing a 25,000 lb piece of machinery from a medical clinic or hospital, what could go wrong? It can be crucial to other surrounding equipment and to your facility to have safe and efficient removal services performed so that your facility will have peace of mind knowing that this process will be handled correctly. A few tips below will help this removal process go more smoothly and will get you to the goal of out with the out and in with the new more quickly.

Removal Path

To start, cleaning of any removable clutter is always overlooked and can become an obstacle that can be avoided. Measuring will be the next step to take when its time to start moving any type of equipment. A tape measurer will be your best friend since when it comes to moving high or low energy linacs, each have a minimum requirement for the number of inches required for room clearance.  Accurately measuring all building doors including the vault and outside door along the removal path is very important. Prior to the arrival or replacement equipment, a professional vendor will request a rig info sheet to be submitted to guarantee that there is no door frames or walls that will need to be removed. If the vendor does not ask about the measurements beforehand, this is a red flag that you should be looking for equipment elsewhere.

Safety Concerns

When transporting heavy equipment at any times, the safety of the removal team is of utmost importance. If the above-mentioned measurements are done inaccurately and realize that a vault door must be removed with late notice, this will pose a very big safety hazard. Depending on size, vault doors can easily weigh a few thousand pounds and unfortunate deaths have resulted when removal of these doors have been done incorrectly. When they doors need to be removed, it is critical that they are removed by professionals that have experience in the field.  Last minute decisions for vault door removal will also cut into extra expenses that was not part of the company budget so it again if very important for the measurements to be calculated right the first time. Proper liability insurance should be provided by your vendor when on site during the removal process as well.

Loading Space

Once you have the old equipment outside the next step is often overlooked as well. The loading area needs to have enough space in order to load the linear accelerator into trailer for transportation. Facilities will typically need to block off any side streets or parking spots to allow a safe loading area. If loading space is unavailable, the removal team will need to utilize a forklift of suitable size to lift and move machinery to the trailer manually.

Facility Jobs

No matter the size or details of removal that is performed, there will be responsibilities of the facility that will be requested. Generally, the removal team will ask local facility engineers, electricians, or plumbers to turn off the water or other power sources that are attached to the specific equipment that is being removed. This will protect the office building from having potentially dangerous live power to the area and helps to not disrupt any of the surrounding rooms that lighting and power may be connected to as well. Many times, the facility will manage and schedule the removal times so that it is occurring after hours or assist in security throughout the building.

As an independent LINAC service company, Acceletronics is dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and services for linear accelerators and CT scanners across all major brands and models, as well as new and refurbished LINAC systems for sale.  More information can be found online at https://www.acceletronics.com/.



Improving LINAC Service Response Time


Linear accelerators and complex support devices are at the heart of today’s radiation oncology.  As technology continues to advance and change the way in which LINAC systems treat cancerous tumors, it becomes increasingly difficult to manage the way in which equipment maintenance, malfunction, and breakdowns are managed.  The strategies to manage quality, mitigate risk and analyze failures have improved to adjust to the changing needs of radiation oncology equipment. 

Manufacturers of oncology equipment add guidelines to ensure successful management of equipment maintenance including system monitoring and cyclical measurements of key functions verse pre-specified tolerances.  This information was previously documented by hand whereas in today’s environment data can be recorded, distributed company-wide, and stored electronically. IT plays an integral role in storing and managing the data which can then be integrated into the everyday workflow in the radiation oncology department.    

Work to cultivate IT clinical management solutions in the radiation department is often done in house working in collaboration with equipment vendors.  This process is an essential component in quality management of radiation oncology equipment services

Service and support of linear accelerators are a key element in quality management in the radiation oncology department.  In most facilities, radiation therapists will report all technical problems with the LINAC to a clinical medical physicist who then reports the events of the machine’s failure to the vendor’s dispatch center to schedule support.  When this call is made the therapist or physicist reporting the LINAC failure will provide the identification of the linear accelerator, the location of the machine, and a detailed report of the problem including what issues led up to the failure..

Depending on where the machine is located, the vendors dispatch center will provide information to equipment engineers at their technical support help desk.  Together the user and engineers will attempt to diagnosis the issue at hand and coordinate actions for repair. 

Facilities looking to improve the efficiency of support and service to linear accelerators when failure occurs can implement key changes in the overall process.  These procedure modifications include:

  • Lessen the number of steps involved in reporting the LINAC failure to the vendor’s support team.
  • Reduce duplication and surplus in the diffusion of information related to the linear accelerators’ failure.
  • Record events electronically for improvement and evaluation of delivering services related to LINAC maintenance and repairs.
  • Utilize remote support from vendor approved engineers that are familiar with the installed system and its maintenance and service history.

As an independent LINAC service company, Acceletronics is dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and services for linear accelerators and CT scanners across all major brands and models, as well as new and refurbished LINAC systems for sale.  More information can be found online at https://www.acceletronics.com/.



Elekta Coming to Canada

Elekta has announced that its MR/RT System has received its certification from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and is ready to be introduced for clinical use in Canada. The first clearance for Elekta Unity took place a little over a year ago and has changed cancer treatment throughout Europe, US, Asia and now ready to change Canada. Elekta’s Unity allows two technologies to combine using an MRI scanner along with a linear accelerator that uses advanced radiotherapy treatment software. Treatment for Canadian patients is a huge milestone for Elekta, this advancement means that more cancer patients around the world will have the opportunity to receive more efficient radiation therapy that is designed to target hard to treat cancer that perhaps in the past was not an option for some. For more information of this historical event, read this article.

The Science of Dosimetry

One of the best treatment methods for many types of cancer is done through radiotherapy. If radiation doses are too small, it could mean treatment could be ineffective but on the other hand, if the treatment is given too large than treatment can be very harmful as well. It is important for a specialist to calculate and use accurate doses of radiation on each patient for proper effectiveness and above all the patient’s safety. Dosimetry is the science of measuring and assessing the dose of radiation that is absorbed during treatment. Each clinic needs to have reliable radiation equipment that is carefully and continuously calibrated for each patient’s service to be performed. To learn more information about Dosimetry and advances it continues to make for the future you can read more in “Keeping Radiotherapy Safe and Effective: Q&A with Leading Dosimetry Expert”.

3 Tips For Installing or Replacing a Linear Accelerator

New linear accelerators can cost a medical facility between 1 and 5 million dollars.  The expense of owning a LINAC does not stop once it has ben purchased.  There are items outside of the actual equipment purchase such as a simulator, training computers, treatment rooms, salaries, ongoing training, operation expenses, maintenance, repairs, and more.  The total cost of large scaled medical equipment is never one that should be underestimated.  Whether you are installing a brand new or refurbished linear accelerator, installing a LINAC for the first time, or replacing an existing one there are three tips the professionals at Acceletronics want to give you.

Step One – Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More

The installation planning process for a linear accelerator takes between six months to eight years.  The length of time for planning your project can span almost any length of time.

  • When planning new technology, you will first want to establish the technology that you need in order to treat patients.  What types of cases will you be treating?  Consider the options IMRT, IGRT, and so on.
  • If you are installing a linear accelerator in new construction, you will want to consider the constraints that come along with that.  What local permits do you need, do you have the proper power supply needed for this large scaled equipment, are there constraints that will limit your installation?  If you are renovating a space consider the rooms constraints, size, location of isocenter and so forth.
  • Create a timeline for major milestones.  When will the vault be completed, when are vendors scheduled to install computers?  When planning these things consider potential areas where conflict can occur and come up with a backup plan.
  • Once the goals are established, a budget is needed to acquire the new equipment.  Consider other aspects as well such as training, equipment needed to run the LINAC and treat patients, and the extra items that can be forgotten about when focusing on the large scaled purchase.

Step Two – Hire Based on Experience

When hiring a team of professionals, it is crucial that you hire experts.  Experts are needed for designing the vault, construction, providers of equipment and supplies, IT support, clinical implementation teams, and such.  Don’t trade cost for quality.  Sometimes a little bit more money now can save you a great deal of money later on down the road.  Ask for references when working with different vendors.  Hire only those vendors that understand the collaboration effort needed to install medical equipment such as CT Scanners and Linear Accelerators. 

Step Three – Commit to Quality

When buying a used or refurbished linear accelerator there is a three-step process that you should follow to ensure you get a machine that meets your needs and beyond.  These steps include: a review of the LINAC’s service history (look at major service events such as waveguide replacement), review the machine’s utilization and beam hours, and perform a physical inspection of the machine. 

As an independent LINAC service company, Acceletronics is dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and services for linear accelerators and CT scanners across all major brands and models, as well as new and refurbished LINAC systems for sale.  More information can be found online at https://www.acceletronics.com/.

Advancements In Technology Bring Newer Less Invasive Treatment Options

Anytime a new medical treatment is developed there is cause for celebration.  Varian Edge radiosurgery system is being used at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in a trial that is providing a new take on the existing technique known as SRS, stereotactic radiosurgical thalamotomy.  In the new treatment, instead of having a frame attached to your skull to help aid in the positioning of the beams a virtual cone is used.  The newer treatment is done without the invasiveness of traditional SRS and greatly increases a patient’s experience.  Traditional linear accelerators are still used in treating a wide array of radiation needs however, new systems and upgrades in technology are helping to assist in bringing better, less imposing options to patient care.   To read more about this brilliant trial out of UAB check out this article from the UAB News, New radiation therapy shows promise for treating essential tremor.

New Treatment Combines Imaging and Treatment

The advancements in Radiation Therapy are off the chart.  Treating cancer has always been a two-stage process of imaging and then treatment with radiation.  In this article from ITV news, “New precision cancer treatment is ‘potential lifeline’ for patients with deadly disease” they highlight the use of new technology that combines the precision imaging of an MRI with the cancer killing radiation of a linear accelerator, MR-linac. 

At Acceletronics we are committed to providing the best quality care for your equipment.  Our pledge to customers is to provide complete satisfaction, nothing short.  We believe you deserve peace of mind when it comes to the equipment you use to provide treatment to patients who are facing the scariest experience of their lives.

Removing a Linear Accelerator

Many times, when a facility gets a new or refurbished linear accelerator, they are replacing an older piece of equipment that needs to be removed.  If you have ever worked with a LINAC you can only imagine how difficult the removal process can be.  Not only is it a large piece of machinery you are dealing with the removal of a highly sophisticated machine that is quite expensive.  On top of all of that it is important to remember you are working with in a medical facility that is busy treating patients. Removing a linear accelerator, CT scanner, or any other large scaled machinery is not a simple task by any means. 

Through careful planning, companies like Acceletronics can minimize the hassle when removing and installing linear accelerators.  Our team of experts specialize in the removal of linear accelerators.   Our staff with guide you throughout the process to ensure your facility continues to run as expected and that the disruption to patient care is minimal.  

First things first, safety is the top priority!  Not only do we want to keep our employees safe, we are continually improving safety techniques to ensure safety for all.  Here are some of the ways that we work to establish a safe environment when removing large scaled medical equipment like linear accelerators.

  • Areas that will be accessed in removal of the linear accelerator are all blocked off.  This includes areas of the medical facility, parking areas, and side streets when necessary. 
  • Accurate measurements are taken to prevent any emergency vault door removal.  Removing the vault doors poses a risk to personnel and patients within the facility.  Measuring, planning, and careful execution prevents this risk.
  • Water, lock and tag power is all shut off to the treatment room where your linear accelerator is location.  This prevents injury to the rigging team.  These tasks are completed by facility personnel who are familiar with the utility systems and helps to prevent dangerous mistakes that can happen when individuals unfamiliar to the location are tasked to complete utility shut down.
  • A plan is always in place for the handling of any materials deemed hazardous. 

Many times, relocation of linear accelerators can occur on weekends or after hours which will help to eliminate any disruptions that may occur.  It is important to work with companies that adhere to health protocols of your facility when working with you.  The goal is to minimize risk to patients while ensuring quality patient care. 

Budgeting is another area that the professionals at Acceletronics work with clients. Purchase and removal of LINAC systems is not inexpensive by any means.  In order to help mitigate the costs and ensure you are not spending more than you need to when removing a linear accelerator, we offer you tips.

  • Planning and transparency is needed from the beginning to the end of the equipment removal process.  In order to prevent confusion, errors in communication, or logistic issues that can increase costs it is crucial to have everyone working on the project in the know.  Every detail, every change, and every hurdle needs to be thoroughly addressed with each and every person involved in the process.  This will save you money.  Preventing errors with detailed planning and complete transparency will keep expenditures within the quoted allotment. 
  • When planning the time when the equipment will be removed choose a period that will cause the least amount of disruption to the operations of your facility.  Although it may cost a bit more to have the removal take place on the weekends or a holiday it is less costly then a disruption to patient care.
  • Often companies can get credit for machines that are still in operational condition.  Credit for working parts can decrease the cost of removal.  The savings that is passed on to you will be determined by the year of the LINAC, the make, model, and condition. 

Finally, the execution of removing the systems comes into play.  After some major pre-planning and all of the pieces of the puzzle working to complete a whole picture the removal process can occur.

As previously mentioned, accurate measurements are a key element is removal.  Costly errors occur when measuring is not precise. Before we arrive on site, facilities will give us a complete rig info sheet.  This will ensure that there are zero surprises when moving the LINAC through doorways.

It is also important that a pathway clear of obstruction is obtained when removing a linear accelerator.  Facilities should plan for the removal of furniture and unnecessary items in order to create a barrier free exit. 

After the machine is removed it needs to be transported.  It is important that a loading area is prepared to allow for this to easily occur.  Most often a semi is needed.  To ensure the semi has access to the loading area it is crucial that the area is sectioned off and that the exit is kept clear.  The smoother this process goes the less it will cost your facility. 

If you have any accessories or additional equipment that needs to be removed it is important to plan ahead.  It is less expensive to remove the main piece of equipment and accessories all at one time instead of completing the removal in multiple steps.  The more steps involved in the process the more costly it tends to be.  Accommodating removal of everything in one day is the least expensive way in which to execute medical equipment removal.

Once the room is clear of the LINAC and depending on your plan, the next steps can start to unfold.  There are many factors involved in coordinating the removal of a linear accelerator.  It is important to hire the right team to achieve your vision, and we think the professionals at Acceletronics can help! We have years of experience in the removal and installation of new and refurbished linear accelerators.  Our team specializes in CT scanners and linear accelerators and would be delighted to partner with you in purchasing, removal, installation, servicing, and more. 

As an independent LINAC service company, Acceletronics is dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and services for linear accelerators and CT scanners across all major brands and models, as well as new and refurbished LINAC systems for sale.  More information can be found online at https://www.acceletronics.com/.

Treating Medical Conditions With Radiation Treatment

Radiation therapy is just one treatment used in the treatment of cancer.  Linear accelerators, LINAC, are often used to deliver radiation which destroys cancerous cells.  LINAC machines use high energy x-rays to deliver radiation to cancerous tumors.  This breaks down and destroys the cancer cells while trying to minimize the damage and exposure to the surrounding healthy cells.  Radiation therapy is used to shrink and destroy cancer to prevent it from spreading. 

Radiation treatment can vary a great deal depending on the type of cancer and where it is located.  Linear accelerators are just one type of machine used to administer radiation.  When a patient is diagnosed with cancer, your oncologist will work with a team of experts to determine what type of treatment is best for you depending on your cancer, its location, overall health, and medical history. 

Keep in mind when a cancer treatment plan is being created that it may involve more than one type of treatment including radiation therapy, surgery, and/or drug therapy.  The best-known type of drug therapy is chemotherapy.  This is a medication that moves through the bloodstream in order to attack cancer in the body. 

Your team of doctors, including your oncologist will prescribe a treatment plan for your unique cancer.  Often this includes a combination of treatments.  When a combination of treatments is prescribed to treat cancer, it is important to follow the order that your doctor specifies as there often is a specific order that treatment needs to be given in order to treat specific conditions. 

Cancer is not the only medical condition that is treated using radiation therapy.  Below we will highlight different diseases that respond well with radiation therapy.

  • Acoustic Neuroma

This is a tumor that is not cancerous.  It is produced when the body over produces Schwann cells.  When this occur the abundance of cells presses on the nerves that control hearing and balance within the inner ear. 

  • Arteriovenous Malformations

This occurs when a connection between the arteries and veins in the brain and spine are atypical.  When this happens there will be neurologic symptoms and bleeding. 

  • Bone Cancer

Bone cancer is a growth of abnormal cells in a bone.  These cells can either be cancerous or benign.

  • Brain Tumor

Like bone cancer a brain tumor may be either cancerous or non-cancerous.  A brain tumor occurs when there is an irregular development of tissue in the brain. 

  • Chondrosarcoma

This is a type of bone cancer that is malignant.  It most often is seen in the cartilage cells of the femur, arm, knee, pelvis, or spine.  Other areas that may be affected, but less often are areas like the ribs. 

  • Chordoma

Chordoma is very rare.  It grows slower than most cancerous tumors that occur along the spine from the bottom of the skull all the way down to the tailbone.

  • Ewing’s Sarcoma

This is a type of cancer that occur in soft tissue and bone.  It is often located in extremities and can involve muscles and soft tissue close to the site of a tumor.  It is also a cancer that spreads to areas throughout the body. 

  • Leukemia

Leukemia is a type of blood cancer that develops in bone marrow.  This type of cancer produces three major blood cells including platelets, white and red blood cells.

  • Meningioma

One type of tumor that cultivates from meninges, the protective membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord is Meningioma.  This is often a benign and slow-growing tumor.

  • Osteosarcoma

Most often occurring in children and young adults, this is a type of bone cancer that cultivates in the osteoblast cells which form the outer covering of bones.

  • Soft Tissue Sarcomas

This rare cancer is just one of many soft tissue sarcomas.  Soft tissue sarcomas, overall, are rare.

  • Trigeminal Neuralgia

This is a disorder in the nerves which causes pain in parts of the face that feel like a stabbing or electrical shock like pain.

There are two main types of radiation therapy that are used in treatment including external and internal radiation.  External radiation is delivered using a LINAC.  This is a machine that gives treatment outside of the body by moving around it without touching the patient.  External radiation using a linear accelerator causes patients no pain and cannot be felt during treatment. Internal radiation, brachytherapy, is radiation therapy that is used to treat certain gynecological and prostate cancers.

Information on linear accelerators, new and refurbished or parts for maintenance and repair can be found at https://www.acceletronics.com/ and https://radparts.com/.

Reasons To Look Into Purchasing Refurbished vs. New


There are many reasons that health care facilities look into purchasing refurbished linear accelerators verse new.  Most assume that refurbished medical equipment is purchased solely because it is more affordable than new however that is not the only reason to consider. 

Look into refurbished LINAC systems when:

  • Treating fewer than ten patients a day

When medical facilities are not exclusively treating patients seeking radiation using a linear accelerator there may not be the funds to support the expense.  Health care centers that treat less than ten patients a day using a LINAC benefit from purchasing a refurbished system.  A previously owned, refurbished linear accelerator is less expensive and thus the monthly expense to lease/finance is lower.  What this means for your facility is that the payment is able to be covered by the few patients being treated daily.

  • You live in a location where reimbursement rates are low

When a medical facility is located in an area where facilities need to be profitable to continue running and compensation rates are low it is important to keep expenses low.  Public clinics don’t need to worry about being lucrative however that is not the same for all health care facilities. 

  • There is not a need for the latest technologies

When a medical facility is using a LINAC system and only requires partial use of its technologies then a refurbished linear accelerator is a perfect choice.  Many veterinarians choose to purchase refurbished linear accelerators to treat pets and animals.  They don’t require all the bells and whistles found in new radiation so refurbished equipment makes sense. 

  • You are just starting out

When a medical facility is just opening, they may not have the revenue base to purchase more expensive medical equipment with the newest technologies.  Healthcare facilities that are looking to upgrade to new technology in four to seven years but need to treat patients and generate funds benefit from purchasing refurbished medical equipment.  Health care centers often want to buy brand new equipment when starting out, but it is a huge risk to invest capital that is not guaranteed in such expenses.  Pre-owned, refurbished LINAC help to mitigate the risks while allowing facilities to effectively treat patients.

  • The facility needs to move locations

When a medical facility has one linear accelerator but intends to move locations and are unable to have down-time the purchase of a refurbished machine is a good idea. Linear accelerator relocation can take upwards of four weeks so many facilities choose to purchase an identical machine to install at the new center.  When the move has been completed the equipment can be sold or kept as a backup.

  • A backup machine is desired

When a medical facility wants to ensure they are always able to treat their patients a back up linear accelerator is necessary.  This is often the case when a facility has a large patient load.  When the main LINAC is down for maintenance or repair patients can still be treated using a back up machine.  Refurbished linear accelerators are a great backup solution. 

As an independent LINAC service company, Acceletronics is dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and services for linear accelerators and CT scanners across all major brands and models, as well as new and refurbished LINAC systems for sale.  More information can be found online at https://www.acceletronics.com/.