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Grand Opening of New Cancer Center in Allentown

Grand Opening of New St. Luke's Cancer Center in Allentown

State-of-the-art technology showcased during guided tours of facility

The grand opening of the new St. Luke's Cancer Center in Allentown was celebrated on Thursday, August 16. St. Luke's has made a $7 million investment in this new center, located at the Integrated Health Campus at 240 Cetronia Road in South Whitehall Township.

The facility provides convenient access to St. Luke's established cancer program for people living in Allentown and surrounding areas. St. Luke's cancer experts, board members, administrators, health care professionals and other guests were joined by U.S. Congressman Charlie Dent, State Representative Steve Samuelson, State Representative Karen Beyer and officials from Lehigh County for the ceremony, reception and tours.

The new facility in Allentown serves to complement the high quality cancer services already being delivered at the St. Luke's Cancer Center at the Bethlehem Campus. The Fountain Hill facility remains the network's flagship cancer center and encompasses 27,763 square feet.

This new 17,000-square foot St. Luke's Cancer Center provides a very comfortable, inviting environment where patients from the Allentown community can receive high quality, compassionate outpatient cancer care under one roof, according to Frank Ford, COO, St. Luke's Hospital-Allentown Campus. “Radiation therapy at this new location will be administered under the care of Advanced Radiation Oncology Associates. Patients may schedule consults and appointments with cancer experts, including fellowship-trained surgical oncologists, a gynecologic oncologist, urologists and a dedicated thoracic surgeon. As an added convenience for our patients, a lab and pharmacy are on site. Infusion services also will be coming on line in the near future.”

“It is wonderful to see patients benefit from easy, convenient access to leading cancer specialists and extremely powerful diagnostic and treatment tools,” says David Lobach, Chairman, Board of Governors, St. Luke's Hospital-Allentown Campus. “We are very proud of what this new facility offers and know it will make a positive difference in the lives of cancer patients and their families.”

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, 2,285 people are projected to have been diagnosed with invasive cancer in 2006 in Lehigh County alone. This is an increase of 8.1 percent since 2003, when 2,113 Lehigh County residents were diagnosed with some form of the disease.

"I congratulate St. Luke's on the opening of its Cancer Center serving the Allentown area,” says U.S. Congressman Charlie Dent. “This Cancer Center will be an important new part of the ongoing effort to help those affected by this terrible disease. I am grateful that the Lehigh Valley is home to world-class institutions like St. Luke's, continually dedicated to serving the growing health care needs of our community."

Lee Riley, MD, Medical Director, St. Luke's Cancer Center and Chief, Surgical Oncology, St. Luke’s Hospital & Health Network added, “Cancer is so prevalent in our society that it is rare not to know someone who is battling or has battled the disease,” he says. “Over the course of a lifetime, approximately one in two people will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in the United States alone. Certainly, it is our distinct hope to wipe out cancer. Today, more than ever, we have many more reasons to be hopeful this will happen, indeed. Cure rates continue to improve as a result of early detection, clinical breakthroughs and incredible technologies. We consider this new St. Luke's Cancer Center in Allentown yet another weapon in our fight to defeat this disease.”

Technology at the St. Luke's Cancer Center in Allentown

GE LightSpeed® RT

St. Luke's Cancer Center in Allentown is one of only three sites nationwide to have installed the GE LightSpeed® RT, a 16-slice CT scanner, dedicated to radiotherapy. With its multi-slice CT scanning capabilities, the LightSpeed RT provides thin, clear images for precise tumor delineation, so critical to the treatment planning process. Patients benefit from shorter scan times and the contours needed to generate precise virtual simulations are complete in about ten minutes. Also, the system has a larger bore, so it can accommodate larger patients.

Varian Clinac iXTM

This linear accelerator combines state-of-the-art radiotherapy treatment technology with sophisticated imaging. The On-Board ImagerTM device, mounted on this linear accelerator, allows for ultra-precise image-guided radiotherapy, providing the best possible view of the tumor. With the system’s high-tech imager, high-resolution images are produced that show critical changes in tumor shape, size or position over a multi-week course of treatment. Tumor motion is also tracked, providing a clear indication of how a tumor will move during treatment due to respiration or other normal physiological processes. Additionally, RPMTM, the respiratory gating system offered on this accelerator, makes it possible to deliver bursts of radiation that coincide with a patient’s natural breathing cycle, to further minimize exposure of surrounding healthy tissues.

Varian VariSourceTM 200

The Varian VariSourceTM 200 HDR Afterloader is a sophisticated brachytherapy system capable of numerous applications. While brachytherapy is not new, sophisticated new developments such as the VariSource 200 system have made this treatment easier and expanded its use. With HDR brachytherapy, the radioactive source is placed directly and precisely into the tumor for irradiation from the inside out. This new system, considered the gold standard for the delivery of high-dose rate brachytherapy, allows for the delivery of high-intensity radiation directly into tumors through super fine needles deployed from computer-controlled afterloaders that move the radiation source on a wire within the needle, in accordance with the prescribed treatment plan. This particular system boasts the thinnest source wire available for high-dose rate procedures, allowing for treatment options that would not be possible with other systems. This technology provides ultra-precise irradiation treatments for breast, prostate, cervical and endometrial cancers, as well tumors in the bronchial passageways.