NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center Opens New Radiation Oncology Center

Irving Radiation Oncology Center made possible with $25 million gift from longtime supporters Herbert and Florence Irving

Sep 9, 2013


NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center has opened its new Irving Radiation Oncology Center, part of the medical center's Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. The 12,500-square-foot facility provides leading-edge precision radiation therapies and the most advanced diagnostic imaging for children and adults with cancer.

The center's new imaging technology offers cancer treatments that more precisely target tumors and spare healthy cells from unnecessary radiation exposure. The new center is equipped with the TrueBeam™ system from Varian Medical Systems, which offers high-precision image-guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery; and the Siemens ARTISTE™, which allows for in-room real-time imaging that can see the tumor response and biological behavior as the patient is being treated. The new technology allows clinicians to safely and precisely target smaller tumor volumes with higher dose radiation to areas such as head and neck, lung, breast, abdomen, spine, and prostate. "This new technology offers greater customization and allows for a dramatically reduced treatment course, from weeks to days," says Dr. K.S. Clifford Chao, radiation oncologist-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell. Dr. Chao is also the Chu H. Chang Distinguished Professor and chair of radiation oncology at Columbia University Medical Center and professor and chair of radiation oncology at Weill Cornell Medical College.

The main goal of radiation therapy is to kill as many cancerous cells at a tumor site as possible without harming healthy surrounding tissue.

NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center's trendsetting technology allows physicians the ability to provide sophisticated treatment techniques tailored to individual patients' needs by using image-based target verification, which allows for maximization of the treatment dose delivered to the target.

The Irving Radiation Oncology Center is an extension of the hospital's existing radiation oncology space, which has also been renovated, and is housed on the lower level of the Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital. The center was designed to be open and filled with natural light, atypical of most radiation oncology treatment centers. A large skylight provides sunlight to the reception and waiting area to create a serene environment for patients, family, and caregivers. While waiting for their appointments, patients, family, and caregivers have access to computers with Wi-Fi as well as an interactive children's sitting area.

"NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is immensely grateful to Herbert and Florence Irving for their commitment of more than 30 years to cancer research and patient care and for their latest gift to support this state-of-the-art radiation oncology center," says Dr. Steven J. Corwin, CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. "Their generosity has transformed cancer care at our medical center and has touched the lives of countless patients. The Irving Radiation Oncology Center will continue this tradition, delivering outstanding, compassionate care in a modern, welcoming, and patient-centered environment."

"The Irving Radiation Oncology Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center reflects Herbert and Florence Irving's vision that the most promising way to reduce the global burden of cancer requires the top researchers to work side by side top clinicians, all in modern facilities," says Dr. Lee Goldman, dean of the faculties of health sciences and medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and executive vice president for health and biomedical sciences at Columbia University Medical Center.

"We are absolutely thrilled to be opening this new state-of-the art facility, which will enable our patients to receive the very highest quality treatment in the most personalized, compassionate setting," says Dr. Stephen Emerson, director of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Clyde and Helen Wu Professor of Immunology and professor of microbiology and immunology. "This facility exemplifies all that we strive for in clinical care in the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center."

The center was made possible with the support of the hospital's life trustee Herbert Irving, for whom the National Cancer Institute-designated Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center is named, and his wife, Florence. Over the past 30 years, Mr. and Mrs. Irving have given more than $200 million to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center in support of cancer care and research. In addition to the gift for the radiation oncology center, the Irvings recently pledged $60 million to NewYork-Presbyterian and Columbia University Medical Center to support research, operations, and recruitment — including the recruitment of five clinician-scientists in leukemia and blood-related cancers — as well as construction of the 9,400-square-foot Irving Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, scheduled to open next year.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, based in New York City, is one of the nation's largest and most comprehensive hospitals, with some 2,600 beds. In 2012, the Hospital had nearly 2 million inpatient and outpatient visits, including 12,758 deliveries and 215,946 visits to its emergency departments. NewYork-Presbyterian's 6,144 affiliated physicians and 20,154 staff provide state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine at six major centers: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division and NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital. One of the most comprehensive health care institutions in the world, the Hospital is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area and is consistently ranked among the best academic medical institutions in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. The Hospital has academic affiliations with two of the nation's leading medical colleges: Weill Cornell Medical College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. For more information, visit

Columbia University Medical Center

Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, preclinical, and clinical research; medical and health sciences education; and patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and State and one of the largest faculty medical practices in the Northeast.

Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center

The Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center encompasses preclinical and clinical research, treatment, prevention, and population-based education efforts in cancer. The Cancer Center was initially funded by the National Cancer Institute in 1972 and became an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center in 1979. Cancer Center researchers and physicians are dedicated to understanding the biology of cancer and to applying that knowledge to the design of cancer therapies and prevention strategies that reduce its incidence and progression and improve the quality of life of those affected by cancer.

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