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/.



Fighting Cancer With External Radiotherapy

There are several questions that come along with a cancer diagnosis. One of the first questions that patients ask is regarding the treatment of their newly diagnosed cancer.  Patients want to know how they are going to rid their body of cancer.  The answer most often, external radiotherapy.

External radiation, radiotherapy is treatment of cancer using a machine known as a linear accelerator to directly aim radiation beams to the cancerous tumors from outside the body.  These beams are meant to shrink and/or destroy the cancerous tumor without harming the healthy tissue surrounding it.  This is different from internal radiotherapy where radiation is delivered to the cancerous tumor within the body.

Radiotherapy works through a process of damaging the DNA that exists within the cancer cells.  A patient’s personal DNA, which is genetic, is the code that controls how a patient’s body will behave during treatment.

Before a patient starts treatment their team of experts will create a plan and introduce it to the patient.  It will include several elements including the short and long terms side effects of radiation.  Most side effects are short terms and will disappear with medication and time. 

Radiation therapy begins with a wide range of tests.  These often include:

  • X-Rays
  • CT Scans
  • MRI’s
  • PET Scans

These scans and images will allow experts to develop a treatment plan that allows the highest dose of radiation to the cancer while trying to reduce the effects to the healthy tissues surrounding it.

When you are set to receive external radiotherapy you will have treatment in a radiotherapy department.  Radiotherapy machines are large and can vary.  The most common machine in delivering radiation is known as a linear accelerator, LINAC.  A linear accelerator uses an electricity to create the beams of radiation.  Patients will not feel the radiation that a LINAC gives off. There are possible side effects however these are rare. 

Radiation therapy works because it can treat the cancerous cells and the bordering healthy tissues without harm.  A high dose of therapy is given directly to the cancer and lower dose to the surrounding tissues.

Radiation is delivered in individual fractions that are smaller than the full dose.  This ensures that the healthy cells surrounding the cancer to recover between treatments.  Patients will have what is known as a series of smaller dose treatments which is known as radiotherapy fractions.

Radiotherapy is intended to relieve the symptoms of cancer including pain.  This is known as a type of palliative radiotherapy, fewer fractions and sometimes just one.  The radiotherapy dose with each radiotherapy fraction is larger but there are fewer fractions.  Overall the radiotherapy dose is lower.  Palliative treatment has a decrease in side effects and is used as a cure for cancer. 

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/.



Maintaining Large Scaled Medical Equipment While Cutting Costs


The pressure is high for the leaders of medical facilities to keep up on the changing technology of medical equipment, improve the quality of patient care, and reduce costs of medical equipment maintenance and care. Creating a cost saving strategy in medical equipment maintenance allows facility leaders to stay ahead of their competition without budget concerns.  One way many healthcare facilities have chosen to do this is through outsourcing.  This allows medical facilities to purchase service and repair contracts from companies that specialize in the service and repair of large scaled medical equipment such as linear accelerators and CT scanners. 

Healthcare centers rely on medical equipment to provide the highest quality of care to patients at all times.  It is crucial that your facility have a system in place to manage, maintain, and repair high end, technologically advanced medical equipment like LINAC.  This can be done simply by contracting services through an OEM or third-party service provider.  Facilities must have a strategy in place that fits their exact needs including both maintenance and repair.

Considerations in Medical Equipment Service Contracts

When you are purchasing a contract, it is important to make sure you know exactly what is and what is not covered.  Full-service contracts, through an OEM or third-party provider should normally provide parts, labor, and preventative maintenance.  Analyze your facility’s medical equipment needs.  Ask yourself the following:

  • What times of the day is equipment used for patient care?
  • Are back-up systems available if the main piece of equipment is down?
  • How old is the current equipment? What is the service history of the equipment?

Ways Facilities Can Save When Contracting an OEM or Third-Party Provider

  • Choose an 8 am to 5 pm, Monday-Friday option for service and maintenance.
  • Combine equipment and facilities into a single contract.

In-House Strategies to Support Contracted Services

Even with contracted services there should be an in-house program to support it.  There are quite a few cost saving strategies including the assessment of available staff, the competency of your staff, the history of equipment, and the level of risk the hospital wants to assume.

  • Determine your staff’s availability and capability.  The staff should attend training and expectations of the level of support to be given for each piece of equipment should be determined.
  • Do a complete cost/benefit analysis between a full-service contract vs a combination of contracted services and staff maintenance.  Remember to consider the costs associated with training, parts, and additional tools/equipment that would be needed.
  • Review the historical data on the expense of labor and parts for each piece of equipment.  This will help you determine the cost of parts and labor under contract if you wouldn’t have had a contract in place vs having the contract in place.

As mentioned earlier there are a number of different medical equipment service, maintenance, and repair plans beyond full-service contracts. These include:

  • Preventive Maintenance Contract
  • Parts Only Contract
  • Biomed Support Contract

After doing research and analysis on your existing equipment you should have a good idea on which type of service contract best suits your company.  Linear accelerator maintenance, repair, service, and parts will obviously cost more than then the same services on a hospital bed.  These are the things that facility leaders need to account for when contracting with an OEM or third-party service company.

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/.



Radiation Therapy 101

There is a lot of information on radiation therapy online.  The process of delivering radiation isn’t exactly the same between facilities however it’s similar.  In this installment we will look into radiation therapy generically to provide a general overview. 

Methods For Treatment

There are a number of ways to treat cancer with radiation; the method used depends on the nature and position of your cancer.  The most prevalent method of radiation is known as external beam therapy.  This is often done using a linear accelerator from the outside of the body directing radiation to the tumor. 

Radiation therapy is known to affect both cancerous and normal cells.  Radiation has a greater effect on cancerous cells.  Treatment is given at the highest dose possible, within a safe limit, to kill cancerous cells without causing damage to normal, healthy cells.  If the goal is to reduce the size of the tumor in order to relieve symptoms or to shrink the tumor for surgery, low dosages are often used.

Radiation Professionals

Radiation therapy is planned out by a specialist cancer doctor known as a radiation oncologist.  Then radiation is delivered by a radiation therapist.  A team of specialists including nurses, health care assistants, counselors, and dieticians will work together to ensure the best possible outcome for your treatment. 

There are many benefits included in how radiation treatment is planned.  Each patient has a unique treatment plan that is designed to meet each patient’s particular need.  During the initial visit a course of treatment will be planned.  This is done using simulators, x-rays, and scans to pinpoint the tumor.  The skin will be marked to define the treatment area. 

Life With Treatments

Most individuals receiving radiation therapy will not need to stay overnight in a hospital after receiving radiation.  Therapy is done on an outpatient need unless your radiation oncologist determines that treatment would be more effective if done while admitted.

Patients are allowed to continue life as normal during their radiation treatment.  It should not cause too much interruption to your day, in fact it should be looked at as another daily routine activity.  Radiation is given using a linear accelerator which works by delivering radiation from the outside through your skin.  Patients receiving treatment lay on a treatment couch and are asked to remain completely still.

Radiation oncologists will determine the length of treatment needed when first evaluating your situation.  The course of treatment can last anywhere from a week to six and can be performed on a weekly or daily basis.  This will depend on a number of factors including the area that is being treated, the aim of the treatment, and more. Each session of radiation varies depending on the machine used.  Most sessions last between five and fifteen minutes.

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/.