Palo Verde Cancer Center Scottsdale

The Palo Verde Cancer Center – Scottsdale offers a wide range of services – from diagnostic lab and imaging to radiation oncology and chemotherapy – to provide patients with the best possible treatment for their cancer.

At the heart of our offerings is one of the most advanced forms of radiation oncology, the TomoTherapy System. Resembling a CT scanner, the TomoTherapy System combines daily image guidance with a unique radiation delivery approach to ensure that treatment is delivered directly to the tumor while sparing healthy surrounding tissue.

One of the most innovative radiation therapy systems available in the world, the TomoTherapy System can efficiently and effectively treat cancer anywhere in the body, including large and/or inoperable tumors or multiple tumors throughout the body, with extreme precision, effectively minimizing side effects commonly associated with conventional radiation therapy.

What is the TomoTherapy® System?


Radiation therapy is a non-invasive procedure that uses low doses of radiation to kill cancer cells. It has been successfully used to treat cancer for the past 80 years.

The TomoTherapy system is the most advanced radiation delivery system, combining precise 3-D imaging with highly targeted radiation beams delivered with extreme precision to treat cancers throughout the body. TomoTherapy is so precise that it minimizes damage to surrounding tissues, which reduces side effects for patients.

Our cancer center in Arizona offers the most advanced radiation treatments in the Phoenix area with the TomoHD system, which combines each patient’s unique treatment plan with precise patient positioning and radiation from an extremely advanced system. Combined with the option of innovative TomoHelical, which has been in use for almost a decade with 360-degree fan-beam radiation delivery, and TomoDirect, a non-rotational radiation delivery option, this sophisticated all-in-one system results in more control and greater accuracy in treating a wide variety of cancers.

In addition, the TomoTherapy system utilizes CTrue technology. CTrue images are critical in patient set-up, positioning and managing any movement by the patient during treatment. CTrue enables clinicians to see where the anatomy is compared to where it’s supposed to be, based on accurate, consistent 3-D images. Clinicians can quickly determine during treatment if adjustments of the patient are required to ensure that radiation is delivered precisely to the target.

TomoThereapy is successful in treating a variety of cancers including breast, prostate, lung and chest, head and neck, brain, primary and metastatic tumors and spinal lesions.

How TomoTherapy Works

Tomo-Treatment-Plan-inner-imageBefore beginning TomoTherapy treatment, a board certified radiation oncologist puts together each patient’s unique treatment plan using 3-D images from a combination of scanning technologies and special software to establish the precise contours for each tumor and surrounding sensitive organs or tissues. Our cancer doctor then prescribes how much radiation the tumor should receive, as well as acceptable levels for healthy tissue nearby.

Many patients who have reached their max tolerance dose of traditional radiation may be a candidate for TomoTherapy radiation.

A typical course of radiation therapy involves a daily process, Monday through Friday. The number of treatments varies by case. On average, the daily TomoTherapy procedure takes 20 minutes from the time the patient enters the treatment room. This includes about five minutes for the daily CT, patient set-up and another five minutes for treatment delivery.

At our center when you check in, you will be taken to a treatment room. Our radiation therapist will help you lie on the comfortable couch and may fit you with a special device. During treatments, daily low-dose CT imaging helps us know that radiation is reaching the tumor as your doctor planned, and that exposure to healthy tissue is minimized along the way.

TomoTherapy treatments are completely painless. The experience is similar to having a CT scan or an X-ray taken. You may hear a clicking noise and the hum of the machine, both of which are normal.

Tomotherapy is offered at our Scottsdale location. Click here for more details.
To find out if TomoTherapy treatments are right for you, contact the Palo Verde Cancer Center Scottsdale today, (480) 941-1211.

Treatment Process

Your TomoTherapy treatment at the Palo Verde Cancer Center Scottsdale generally require a four-step approach:

Radiation-Therapist-inner-image1. Coordination Among the Medical Team at Palo Verde Cancer Center Scottsdale – Your team is directed by a radiation oncologist, and depending on diagnosis, may include several specialists, such as a surgeon, a medical oncologist, a medical physicist, a radiation therapist and medical support staff. Once the team is in place, treatment preparation begins.

2. Preparation – Before beginning TomoTherapy treatment, the medical team puts together a plan using 3-D images from a combination of scanning technologies (such as CT, MRI or PET) and special software that helps define the size and shape of each tumor, and how close it is to surrounding sensitive organs or tissues. Relying on these images, the doctor prescribes the radiation dosage, and plans the treatment to spare surrounding healthy tissue as much as possible. The TomoTherapy HD System then calculates the appropriate pattern, position and intensity of the radiation beam to be delivered based on the doctor’s prescription.

3. Treatment – When you arrive at Palo Verde Cancer Center Scottsdale for your treatment, you will enter the treatment room and lay on the TomoTherapy treatment couch. Your doctor will then use the TomoTherapy HD System to take a CT scan immediately before each treatment. With that image, he or she can verify the position of the tumor and, if necessary, adjust your position to help make sure radiation is delivered with extreme accuracy. After the scan is complete, you are ready for treatment. As the couch moves you through the device at a deliberate pace, a linac (linear accelerator) travels 360 degrees around you to deliver the radiation. You can expect your TomoTherapy treatment to require daily sessions for between one and 10 weeks, with each session lasting between 10 and 20 minutes.

4. After Treatment – Most patients experience minimal side effects and can quickly return to their daily routines with little interruption to their normal activities. Your doctor will discuss all possible side effects prior to treatment and may prescribe medication to control any side effects, should they occur. You also will want to schedule and attend all follow-up appointments.

Tomotherapy is offered at our Scottsdale location. Click here for more details.
To find out if TomoTherapy treatments are right for you, contact the Palo Verde Cancer Center Scottsdale today, (480) 941-1211.