July 13, 2001

VICC to open in Franklin

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The volunteers discuss the search efforts in the incident command center at Vanderbilt. (photo by Anne Rayner)

VICC to open in Franklin

Cancer patients in Williamson County and surrounding areas will be able to receive sophisticated radiation oncology services closer to home when the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center at Franklin opens early next year.

The Williamson County Planning Commission gave its approval to the project June 26. Construction of the center – the county’s first radiation oncology facility – is expected to begin by mid-July.

“Advances in technology allow more than 95 percent of cancer patients to receive their radiation therapy in an outpatient setting,” said Dr. Dennis E. Hallahan, professor and chairman of Radiation Oncology at Vanderbilt. “Many patients must undergo radiation treatments daily for four weeks or more. Our patients at the Franklin center will receive the same comprehensive radiation oncology services that are available at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville, without the drive. This will help improve quality of life – without sacrificing quality of care.”

The one-story, 8,000-square-foot center will be constructed on Edward Curd Lane just north of Williamson Medical Center. Opening is scheduled for January 2002.

A full-range of radiation oncology services will be offered, including intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and multi-leaf collimation. These technologies allow for precise sculpting of radiation beams for maximum tumor-killing effect while sparing surrounding normal tissue.

The center’s linear accelerator (radiation source) and computerized, three-dimensional treatment planning system will be the very latest technology available. Equipment costs account for $3 million of the $5 million total project cost.

The center will be linked directly to Vanderbilt’s Radiation Oncology clinical information system, and will include world-class quality assurance systems.

Patients in Williamson County will also be eligible to participate, when appropriate, in clinical trials of new radiation techniques and combinations of radiation with novel cancer-fighting agents.

Williamson Medical Center is a participating facility in the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center Affiliate Network, which includes more than a dozen hospitals in Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama and Georgia that participate in Vanderbilt-Ingram’s clinical trials of new cancer treatments.