UPMC Hillman Cancer Center at UPMC Horizon Begins Work on Major Project to Expand Cancer Care in Response to Community Need

Updated on February 25, 2024

People in Mercer and Lawrence counties will soon have enhanced access to cancer care as UPMC Hillman Cancer Center at UPMC Horizon-Shenango Valley initiates an expansion to add a second linear accelerator (LINAC). The $9.6 million project includes the construction of a vault for the new, state-of-the art LINAC, which is used for external beam radiation oncology treatments. It delivers high-energy x-rays or electrons to the region of the tumor.

“Our patient volumes continue to increase and when demand for UPMC services rises, we prioritize and we respond to the needs of our community,” said Beth Piccione, M.D., president, UPMC Horizon and UPMC Jameson. “Operating a second LINAC to perform vital radiation oncology treatments will further increase access to lifesaving care for even more people in our community.”  

Over the past 25 years, UPMC has invested more than $150 million to elevate services at UPMC Horizon, including the expansion of UPMC Hillman Cancer Center locations in Greenville, New Castle and Farrell. 

“Close-to-home access to the nationally ranked, best-in-class medicine of UPMC Hillman Cancer Center is life changing,” said Joel Yuhas, executive vice president, UPMC, and president of the UPMC Health Services Division. “We live our mission by continually advancing needed health services and increasing availability of our world-class care and treatments. The community continues to put its trust in the unique expertise of UPMC — and UPMC will continue to elevate services in response to our communities’ needs.”

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center at UPMC Horizon-Shenango Valley has been serving the community for more than 13 years and is one of more than 70 UPMC Hillman Cancer Center facilities across Pennsylvania and in Maryland, New York, Ohio and abroad with locations in Europe. 

The new, second LINAC is a state-of-the-art TrueBeamradiotherapy system. Its addition to existing radiotherapy modalities will allow UPMC Hillman Cancer Center at UPMC Horizon to remain on the cutting edge with the most advanced cancer care available for Lawrence and Mercer counties.

“This radiotherapy system is designed to treat a variety of cancer tumors wherever they are in the body, including lung, breast and prostate cancers,” said Heath Skinner, M.D., department chair, radiation oncology, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. “It provides more precision, so that surrounding tissues are less affected, and it gives us oncologists better imaging so we can clearly see the treatment while it’s happening and for the patient.”

Skinner continued, “The strength of our radiation oncology team and the addition of the new technology means our patients will have access to the latest clinical trials we are conducting at UPMC Hillman.”

In 2011, when UPMC Hillman Cancer Center added high-quality comprehensive cancer care for the area, there were 186 patient consultations and 4,160 treatments provided. In 2023, there is substantial increased need for care with 439 new patients and nearly 8,500 radiation oncology treatments provided.

The only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the region, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center is internationally renowned for ushering in the most advanced, evidence-based treatments and clinical trials not previously available in local communities. This is done by leveraging UPMC’s centers of excellence in areas such as immunology, drug discovery and stereotactic radiosurgery, made possible through its academic medical center collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of Health Sciences, ranking third in the U.S. in National Institute of Health funding.

The UPMC Hillman Cancer Center at UPMC Horizon expansion project is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

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