News Release

October 23, 2006

Contact: Jane Shaskan, 860-679-4777

Neag Gift Brings New Cancer Treatment to New England

Carole and Ray Neag Give $2.5 Million for TomoTherapy System

FARMINGTON, CONN. – Thanks to a new $2.5 million commitment from Torrington natives Carole and Ray Neag to the University of Connecticut Foundation Inc., the University of Connecticut Health Center will be the first facility in New England to offer a revolutionary new cancer treatment, the Helical TomoTherapy Hi-Art System.

Capable of delivering radiation to a precisely mapped section of the body with accuracy never before possible, the system also reduces the amount of healthy tissue exposed to radiation. “This technology fits in perfectly with our mission and vision to provide state-of-the-art care to the residents of Connecticut,” says Carolyn Runowicz, M.D., director of the Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center and president of the American Cancer Society. “The addition of TomoTherapy is a tremendous asset to our patients and our medical staff.”

“Precision and accuracy can make a big difference in treating some tumors that are adjacent to critical organs, such as the brain, head and neck, and prostate,” says Robert Dowsett, M.D., chief of the Division of Radiation Oncology at the Health Center. “What this means for patients is more accurate treatment.”

Before a patient receives TomoTherapy, a detailed three-dimensional image is taken of the area being treated. The physician then uses special software to “paint” on the image, identifying specific regions to receive radiation, and those areas to remain untouched. Unlike previous technologies that use wide bands of radiation from a limited choice of directions, TomoTherapy uses rotating narrow “pencil” beams of radiation to treat the tumor from all sides, with variable intensity.

The Neags say that their interest in TomoTherapy stems from Mrs. Neag’s radiation treatments, and their desire to put the Health Center at the forefront of cancer research and technology. “The people of Connecticut should have the best care available to them, and it’s a wonderful opportunity now to upgrade the technology,” says Mr. Neag, a UConn graduate.

Mrs. Neag envisions the Health Center taking a leadership role in cancer prevention and treatment across New England. “As we better understand cancer, the UConn Health Center will be on the cutting edge. That’s what motivated us to make this gift,” she says.

“We are most pleased by the generous support the Health Center, and the university as a whole, continues to receive from the Neags. Their philanthropic gifts are helping us to build one of the best cancer prevention and treatment programs in the region and beyond,” said Peter Deckers, M.D., executive director of health affairs at the Health Center. “We are extremely grateful for the support they give our program and to the people of Connecticut.”

The Neags have a long history of support for the university, giving the largest single gifts to UConn and UConn Health Center. Among their many contributions, the Neags gave $10 million for the cancer program at the Health Center in 2004. Named in their honor, the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center’s ultimate goal is to create a world-class program that transforms cancer treatment. The new system furthers that goal.

TomoTherapy is scheduled to arrive next summer. Currently, there are only about 100 such systems worldwide.

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