City News Service
Scripps Health broke ground Tuesday on a $43.9 million radiation therapy center in La Jolla that will feature some of the most advanced cancer treatment technology in the United States.
The 41,000-square-foot center on Torrey Pines Mesa across from Scripps Clinic will annually serve up to 1,200 Scripps patients from around the region, and also provide access to clinical trials.
The facility will be equipped with three state-of-the-art linear accelerators, including one that will be the first of its kind in San Diego. The new equipment can cut typical 30-minute treatments down to about five minutes, and provide 3-D images using an X-ray dose 25 percent lower than other systems, according to Scripps Health.
“The Scripps Radiation Therapy Center will help improve the quality of patient care by providing the very latest technology and a full offering of treatment options,'' said Chris Van Gorder, president and chief executive officer of Scripps Health.
“Our technology will help provide greater patient comfort by significantly shortening treatment times, and will improve precision by leaving less time for tumor and patient movement during treatment,'' Van Gorder said.
Grading has already begun at the eight-acre site on John Jay Hopkins Drive, with construction on the building set to begin next month. The center is scheduled to open for patient care by the third quarter of 2012.
The new center part of Scripps’ expanding capabilities in cancer care. In August 2010, construction began on the Scripps Proton Therapy Center in Mira Mesa, which will be San Diego County’s first facility to offer advanced proton therapy to cancer patients. The $200 million proton treatment center is expected to be open for patient care by spring 2013.