Radiation Therapy for Cancer Treatment

Lovelace Medical Center's Radiation Oncology is comprised of seasoned, well-trained and compassionate staff with an average of 13 years of radiation oncology experience. Our Radiation Oncology team is accredited by the American College of Radiology, which is the gold standard among radiation oncology programs. Nationally, only 8 percent of radiation oncology programs have this accreditation.


Lovelace’s Cancer Care Program now has the TomoHD radiation therapy treatment system that combines TomoHelical and TomoDirect delivery modes. The TomoHD can treat targets up to 160cm in length with no need to reposition the patient and no need for field junctioning.

  • TomoHD gives us the ability to accurately and efficiently treat cancerous tumors anywhere in the body while dramatically sparing healthy tissue.
  • A daily CT scan is generated by the TomoHD machine before each treatment and allows the operator to adjust the position to align to the patient’s anatomy.
  • TomoHD is capable of doing Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT), which delivers high doses of radiation with surgical precision in 5 daily treatments with virtually no side effects.
  • This new machine also allows us to treat patients with limited metastases to the lung or liver with 25 percent surviving four or more years. This was not possible until only a few years ago.
  • Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) can cure patients who are not operative candidates with Stage I lung cancer as well as surgery—70 percent at five years.
  • This never-before-seen helical linear accelerator can deliver the most up-to-date conformal radiation, reducing the normal tissue complications to a higher degree than any machine currently in use in New Mexico.

Lovelace Medical Center Cancer Program First in Nation to Add Dynamic Jaws

Lovelace Medical Center's Cancer Care program is the first in the country to have a new technology added to its TomoHD linear accelerator that further minimizes radiation doses to healthy tissue.

The technology called Dynamic Jaws is the most advanced technology on the market today to spare healthy tissue for patients undergoing radiation treatment. The patient will experience fewer side effects and decreased treatment times.

"With this new technology we can treat the patient faster," said Paul Anthony, M.D., Medical Director of LMC's Cancer Care Program. "It provides pinpoint accuracy for every radiation therapy patient."

Last year, Lovelace Medical Center's Cancer Care program added new cancer equipment that included the TomoHD, 21iX linear accelerator and 4-D computed tomography, giving the center the most advanced cancer treatment technology in the state.

TomoHD is a radiation therapy system that can image and treat common and complex tumors with a single device. TomoHD can be used for treating breast, prostate, lung, and head and neck cancers. TomoHD allows the radiation oncologist to deliver higher curative doses with less radiation damage to surrounding tissue.
The 21iX linear accelerator is a state-of-the art radiation therapy machine that can very accurately treat tumors, especially surface tumors, such as breast and skin cancers.

With the two new linear accelerators, physicians are able to perform stereotactic body radiosurgery (SBRT), which is a proven method for eliminating small tumors with precisely focused radiation treatment. The high doses of radiation can be delivered in just five daily treatments over a one week period.

Lovelace Medical Center's Cancer Care program has an experienced team of physicians and physicists to treat and cure cancer with advanced cancer equipment.

Varian 21iX Linear Accelerator

In our recently remodeled Northeast Heights facility, Lovelace Cancer Care has also installed a second new linear accelerator treatment machine, the Varian 21iX.

  • This treatment modality is capable of Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy and Image-Guided Radiation Therapy.
  • It has on-board imaging and Cone Beam CT, allowing physicians to verify patient position and tumor position at the time of treatment. It also has real-time Position Management system for respiratory gating.
  • The patient undergoes a 4DCT treatment planning scan so that respiratory gating can be used for treating tumors in the abdomen and thorax, where tumor motion is a consideration. This allows the beam to turn on and off as the patient breathes normally, so that it is delivered only when the tumor is in the correct position.
  • The 21iX is also equipped with VMAT technology, which shortens treatment times to one-half to one-eighth that of conventional radiation therapy. In a single 360-degree rotation, the linear accelerator revolves around the patient, delivering a sculpted, tightly focused beam of radiation directly to a tumor in less than two minutes.
  • This machine is also ideal for treating superficial cancers such as breast, head and neck, and skin cancers.

Gamma Knife Perfexion

Gamma Knife Perfexion radiosurgery is an ideal treatment option for patients with brain tumors and certain neurological conditions, including irregularly shaped and deep-seated brain lesions, and negates the need to initially treat brain metastasis with whole-brain radiation. This spares patients of the cognitive deterioration seen six months after whole-brain irradiation. The Gamma Knife Perfexion is also used to treat many tumors previously considered inoperable.

Gamma Knife radiosurgery may be used as a standalone therapy or in conjunction with traditional neurosurgery, chemotherapy or other radiation therapy to treat residual or recurrent brain lesions.

Click here for more information about the Gamma Knife Center of New Mexico at Lovelace Medical Center.

Phillips Big Bore 4D-CT

This new radiation oncology planning machine is now the largest bore CT in New Mexico at 85cm with a weight limit of 600 pounds, allowing us to image patients for treatment planning with breast and lung cancer who need to hold their arms above their head. The 4D component gives us the ability to image tumors that are moving with breathing and know their location at any point in time, allowing for more precise treatment planning — which translates into less toxicity.