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UPMC upgrading cancer treatment centers, adding positions

| Thursday, March 28, 2002

UPMC Health System is spending $20 million to upgrade cancer treatment equipment in five of its hospitals and 11 cancer treatment centers in the region. The upgrade could create 75 jobs.

The upgrade consists of expanding the use of Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy, a method of treatment that allows doctors to more precisely treat unhealthy tissue by lowering the amount of radiation delivered to surrounding healthy tissue.

UPMC is buying the equipment from Varian Medical Systems Inc., Palo Alto, Calif.

The equipment will be installed in five hospitals within a year: UPMC Shadyside, UPMC St. Margaret's, UPMC Presbyterian, Magee-Womans Hospital, and UPMC Passavant.

The equipment will be installed at 11 cancer treatment centers: UPMC Cancer Center South Hills Health System, UPMC Cancer Center at St. Clair Hospital, UPMC Cancer Center at Monroeville, UPMC Cancer Center at Mountain View, UPMC Cancer Center at Horizon, the UPMC cancer treatment centers in Moon and Heritage Valley, the UPMC Cancer Center at Allegheny Valley and the UPMC Cancer Center at the John. P Murtha Pavilion in Johnstown, and two other locations yet to be determined.

Use of intensity modulated radiation therapy throughout the UPMC hospital system has led to a joint venture between UPMC and Varian, which will be known as D3 Advanced Radiation Planning Services.

D3, which will be staffed by medical physics experts, will develop cancer treatment plans and transmit them electronically from the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. UPMC spokeswoman Clare Collins said there could be 75 new jobs at D3 within five years.

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