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AdventHealth Cancer Institute Begins Installation of New Cancer-Fighting Technology, a First of its Kind in Kansas City


MRI-Linac components are delivered to the new AdventHealth Cancer Institute building

(Photo credit: Stellar Image Studios)

KANSAS CITY, Kan., AdventHealth Cancer Institute Shawnee Mission began installation of leading-edge cancer-treating technology, with the arrival of the ring gantry and magnet - two critical components of the Elekta Unity MRI Linear Accelerator (Linac). This advanced therapy uses MRI-Guided Radiation to view tumors in real-time during treatment, resulting in pinpoint precision, fewer sessions, and reduced side effects.

AdventHealth Shawnee Mission is the first in the Kansas City metropolitan area to offer MRI-Guided Radiation Therapy, addressing an unmet need in cancer therapy. The new technology enables personalized radiotherapy by integrating two critical but distinct technologies in a single platform: a state-of-the-art, high field (wide bore 1.5 Tesla) MR imaging system and a next generation Elekta linear accelerator to target cancer more effectively as the tumor’s size, shape and location change throughout treatment.

“Today marks an important milestone in cancer care for the region,” said Dr. Bhaswanth Dhanireddy, a Board-certified radiation oncologist and Medical Director of Radiation Oncology at the AdventHealth Cancer Institute. “The addition of the advanced MRI-guided radiation technology to our cancer therapy options allows us to see and track tumors during treatment and respond accordingly, personalizing therapy for each patient every time they are treated.”

A large range of cancers can be treated with MRI-guided radiation therapy. This therapy is ideal for tumors in and around the chest or abdomen and for treating cancers located in difficult-to-visualize soft tissue such as pancreatic, esophageal and colon cancers, among others.

“To be able to offer more precise radiation therapy that requires fewer doses and spares healthy tissue, is a demonstration of our commitment to innovate and provide care that helps our community feel whole. We are so proud to be the leader in this therapy,” said Sam Huenergardt, president and chief executive officer, AdventHealth Mid-America Region.

Dr. Dhanireddy added that MRI-guided radiation will be used to treat many different cancer types and may enable new therapeutic options for hard-to-treat cancers with anatomies that require high field imaging to effectively differentiate the tumor from adjacent healthy tissue (i.e., organs-at-risk). This will allow anatomies that were previously determined unsuitable for radiotherapy to be considered for treatment, ushering in a new era of hope for patients.

The arrival of the new technology has been carefully timed during construction of the Cancer Institute on the AdventHealth Shawnee Mission campus. The magnet and ring components were hoisted by crane, then carefully lowered through the roof of the building and placed in a room being specifically designed around the machine. The $76 million, 71,000-square-foot AdventHealth Cancer Institute offers all cancer care services, including physician clinics, CT and PET scans, infusion, radiation, laboratory testing and a world-class diagnostic breast center.

Additional patient-focused services emphasize AdventHealth’s commitment to compassionate, whole-person care and include financial navigation, nutritional counseling, lymphedema therapy, genetic counseling, massage, physical therapy and social work.

Once construction is complete, the MRI Linear Accelerator will go through rigorous testing and commissioning, and Cancer Institute staff will complete extensive training. The new Cancer Institute plans to open in mid-May and begin offering MRI-Guided Radiation Therapy this summer.

The addition of this leading-edge cancer treatment is being made possible through the power of philanthropy. The generosity of our donors is helping to bring hope to more patients in Kansas City and beyond. To learn more about fundraising efforts and to donate, visit AdventHealth Kansas City Foundation.

For more information about the AdventHealth care team and cancer treatment options, visit