Patient safety

The Precision Radiotherapy Center was established in 2003 to provide patients with high-precision radiotherapy and radiosurgery for life-threatening tumors and other abnormalities both inside and outside the brain. Thanks to our integrated computer systems, a highly skilled team of specialists, and a longstanding focus on patient safety and radiation accuracy, our safety record is exemplary.

Life-saving radiation treatments have steadily evolved since they were first used by our team at University Hospital in 1989 and at Precision Radiotherapy Center in 2003. Throughout this period, we have pursued and fostered a culture of safety-centered patient care. Our team of specialists, which includes radiation oncologists, medical physicists, neurosurgeons, and staff, has remained vigilant and steadfast in its commitment to safety, accuracy and the well-being of our patients.

Focus on Patient Safety and Accuracy

Since the inception of radiotherapy as a life-prolonging treatment for cancer, our primary focus has been patient safety. Our protocols call for daily, weekly, monthly, and annual checks of the accuracy of our equipment, and much of our radiosurgery research, through our academic relationship with the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, has focused on accuracy and safety. This focus is reflected in our team's publication of numerous articles about radiosurgery in national, peer-reviewed journals. 

Our Technology

Our Novalis technology, a linear accelerator-based system, is not a general-service linear accelerator. Our system was specifically constructed for radiosurgery and is used for both stereotactic radiosurgery and stereotactic radiotherapy. It is a fully integrated system, meaning that data is transferred electronically, reducing the risk of human error.

Our Tomotherapy system was specifically designed for radiation therapy, using image guidance and intensity modulation to achieve a higher level of treatment precision than conventional radiotherapy units. Like Novalis, Tomotherapy has its own specific set of stringent safety protocols.

A History of Safeguards

Since 1989 our team has been aware of the potential issues outlined in the New York Times article (December 28, 2010) relating to linear accelerator-based radiosurgery systems. Our board-certified medical physicists put stringent safeguards in place to address these specific issues prior to the treatment of our first radiosurgery patient in 1989 - safeguards that are still in place today. In addition to these safeguards, Precision Radiotherapy installed the BrainLAB software upgrade mentioned in the Times article as an added safety precaution for our patients.

All radiotherapy and radiosurgery systems, including Gamma Knife, are complex and require highly skilled specialists to ensure their safe operation. At Precision Radiotherapy, our specialists are certified by the American Board of Radiology (ABR). In addition, both of our medical physicists are Ohio certified radiation experts (CRE). Both physicists exceed CME requirements for both ABR and CRE. Our therapists are fully licensed by the state of Ohio, and our dosimetrists are certified by the Medical Dosimetry Certification Board.

At Precision Radiotherapy Center, we remain committed to patient safety and will do all that we can to ensure that our patients are treated effectively, efficiently, and comfortably.

Specific Safety Precautions

We are proud of the culture of patient safety developed at Precision Radiotherapy Center:

Our protocols call for daily, weekly, monthly, and annual checks for the safe operation of our equipment.

Our tests meet or exceed all recommendations by the American Association of Physicists in Medicine. 

Alignment tests are conducted and verified for all radiosurgery patients, including accuracy tests before, during, and after treatment.

Patient-specific quality assurance is also performed prior to treatments for intensity modulated radiation therapy. 

Protocols are in place for independent checks of treatment specifications prior to the first treatment for every patient.

Physicists are present at the units as part of the treatment team for all radiosurgery treatments. 

The entire treatment team regularly discusses the safe operation of our treatment units.

If you have any questions about your treatment, please feel free to ask your Precision Radiotherapy Center physician, or you can contact us at 513-475-7777.