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Nationally recognized cancer program gets transformational technology

January 16, 2019

The Halcyon linear accelerator

Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH) first in Tri-State area to offer Halcyon™ system

Exceptional care close to home just got even better. The most advanced technology for treating cancer has arrived at NCH, improving the experience for patients undergoing radiation therapy. The Halcyon system, the newest linear accelerator from industry leader Varian Medical Systems, is the most “patient-friendly radiation treatment in the industry,” according to NCH Radiation Oncologist Stephen Nigh, M.D.

“The Halcyon system is revolutionizing how we treat patients by enhancing and simplifying the entire radiation delivery process,” Dr. Nigh says. “We are thrilled to be able to offer this game-changing technology as we strive to provide exceptional cancer care close to home. Better, faster and highly accurate treatment is now the norm for patients who receive their care at NCH.”

Medical Physicist Muqeem Qayyum, Ph.D., says the Halcyon System has been redesigned from the ground up. Technicians at NCH began using the new technology in late November.

“We wanted to be able to provide our patients with the best treatment options available,” says Qayyum, adding that the imaging technology has been optimized to improve quality and speed without compromise.

Scanning can be done within seconds, and patients receive faster, more effective treatment.

The $5 million system has been designed with the patient in mind. Instead of an enclosed structure which can be claustrophobic for some, the large donut-like design and bed is similar to a CT scanner, a familiar site to most patients. They lie down on a table, which moves in and out of the treatment area. The system currently is being used on patients with head and neck, lung and prostate cancers. NCH plans to expand and treat other forms of cancer with the system in the future.

NCH is the first hospital in the state of Illinois and also the first in the Tri-State area to add the Halcyon system to its radiation oncology department.

NCH’s cancer program received the Commission on Cancer’s Outstanding Achievement Award for meeting rigorous standards and improving the quality of care for patients with cancer. It is a radiation oncology accredited facility by the American College of Radiology/American Society for Radiation Oncology. Read more at