Elekta employees joined national and local political representatives and distinguished guests this week in a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the official opening of the company's Cornerstone campus.
The opening of the new campus, which Elekta envisions will become a magnet for oncology innovation, has helped cement Crawley's reputation as a world-class hub for the design and manufacture of precision radiation therapy technologies dating back more than 60 years.
In dedicating the new facility, Elekta President and CEO, Richard Hausmann reminded attendees of the importance of radiation therapy as a key component of cancer treatment, noting that 50-60% of cancer patients around the world would benefit from radiotherapy.
"Elekta has been the leading innovator in advanced radiation medicine for many decades, and our oncology solutions are used to improve, prolong and save the lives of people with cancer and brain disorders in over 6,000 hospitals worldwide," said Richard Hausmann.
"We believe that cutting-edge radiotherapy should be available to all patients who may benefit from this key treatment. The products that will be designed and manufactured at Cornerstone will help increase the number of radiotherapy devices operating in the United Kingdom and around the globe," said Hausmann.
Construction of the 14,000 square meters (150,000 square foot) Cornerstone facility began in 2015 and occupied a massive five-acre plot. The center will serve as home to 750 employees comprising engineers, scientists, clinicians, and customer-facing professionals.
"The common thread that ties this diverse array of employees together is their dedication to give hospitals and clinicians technologies to improve the lives of people with cancer," said Steve Wort, Elekta Chief Operating Officer.
"Our team in Crawley will be able to interact with healthcare providers visiting from anywhere in the world, as they jointly collaborate and share ideas on technological solutions to address the global cancer burden," said Wort.
Tours showcased advanced Elekta solutions.
Included in the inauguration events were guided tours of Cornerstone, featuring working examples of key Elekta technologies, such as Versa HD™, Elekta's most advanced linear accelerator and Elekta Unity, the company's groundbreaking high field MR-linac.
"By integrating MR, Elekta Unity allows physicians to locate and track tumors and surrounding tissue with extreme accuracy at the time of treatment," Hausmann explains.
"Clinicians can, therefore, fine-tune and modify the treatment plan while the patient is in the treatment position in response to changes in tumor position, shape and biology," Hausmann explains.
"Elekta Unity truly represents a new radiotherapy paradigm that permits a scan-plan-treat approach, and supports care strategies that are designed for the unique needs of individual patients," Hausmann explains.
On August 22, doctors at University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands completed treatment of the first cancer patient with the now CE-marked Unity system. Additional clearances are expected in the coming months for other regions of the world.