News Release

October 2, 2007

Contact: Maureen McGuire, 860-679-4523

A Revolutionary New Radiation Oncology Treatment

TomoTherapy, only at UConn Health Center

FARMINGTON, CONN. – An innovative new radiation oncology system that targets the exact size and shape of tumors before every treatment while minimizing radiation to surrounding healthy tissue is now available at the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Connecticut Health Center.

Due to its revolutionary design, the TomoTherapy® Hi-Art® system is being hailed by experts as the most exciting new development in radiation oncology in a generation because of its accuracy and precision. In Connecticut, this new technology is only available at the UConn Health Center.

“We looked at several options and concluded that this state-of-the-art system is clearly a step above other radiation technologies and wanted to make it available to residents of Connecticut and the region,” said Carolyn D. Runowicz, M.D., director of the Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center and the immediate past president of the American Cancer Society. “As an oncologist and also a cancer survivor, I personally understand the importance of precisely pinpointing radiation to the tumor, sparing healthy tissue and minimizing side effects. This accuracy will provide peace of mind for patients who are concerned about the side effects from radiation,” she added.

“TomoTherapy is an effective treatment for head and neck cancer, prostate cancer, brain cancer and other tumors that are adjacent to critical organs,” added Robert Dowsett, M.D., director of the Health Center’s Division of Radiation Oncology.

Here’s how the TomoTherapy treatment system works:

  • Before each treatment, the patient, lying on the table, moves through the Hi-Art machine for a CT scan, called a CTrue image. Images taken verify the shape, size and location of the tumor, through a process known as Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT).
  • The CTrue image is compared to the original planning CT image, which may have been taken days before. If necessary, adjustments to the plan and patient set-up are made immediately to assure the most accurate delivery of the radiation to the intended target.
  • The patient then moves through the Hi·Art treatment system where the Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) is delivered by tens of thousands of beamlets in a helical pattern (360°) around the patient. IMRT is the most sophisticated radiation technology available today.

“This system literally runs circles around the cancer. For many patients, it is a clear improvement over existing technologies,” Dr. Dowsett added, noting that the Health Center was the first site to introduce IMRT to Connecticut in 1995.

“UConn is once again leading the pack in new technological advances for patients with cancer,” he added. “The TomoTherapy unit was designed from the ground up to provide state-of-the-art IGRT and IMRT.”

At the Health Center, treatments are offered in the newly renovated Division of Radiation Oncology.

The addition of TomoTherapy was made possible by a generous donation from Connecticut natives Carole and Ray Neag, who have a long history of support to the Health Center and the university, including a $10 million gift to the cancer center in 2004. Named in their honor, the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center’s ultimate goal is to create a regional center of excellence, delivering state-of-the-art cancer treatments.

“Thanks to the generosity and compassion of Carole and Ray Neag, this new technology will support our mission and vision to provide world-class care to the residents of Connecticut and throughout the region,” Dr. Runowicz added.

Photo Caption: The TomoTherapy® Hi-Art® system at the UConn Health Center delivers radiation oncology treatments with high precision and accuracy. In Connecticut, TomoTherapy is only available at the UConn Health Center.

About TomoTherapy Incorporated

TomoTherapy Incorporated has developed, manufactures and sells the Hi∙Art® system, one of the most advanced and versatile radiation therapy systems commercially available for the treatment of a wide variety of cancers. TomoTherapy Incorporated markets the Hi∙Art® treatment system to university research centers, hospitals, private and governmental institutions and cancer treatment centers in North America, Europe and Asia.

About the UConn Health Center

UConn Health includes the schools of medicine and dental medicine, the UConn Medical Group, University Dentists, and John Dempsey Hospital. Home to Bioscience Connecticut, UConn Health pursues a mission of providing outstanding health care education in an environment of exemplary patient care, research and public service. More information about UConn Health is available at

Note: News professionals are invited to visit the UConn Health Today news page ( for regularly updated news and feature stories, photos and media stories. News releases are archived at UConn Health news and information is also available on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.