New Cancer Centre in Neuquen – Centro Oncológico Integral (COI)

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The Comprehensive Cancer Center in Neuquen is the only one in Latin America with cutting-edge technology for the comprehensive care of cancer patients, from diagnosis to the end of treatment.

The Comprehensive Cancer Center (IOC) of Neuquén made a quality leap in treating patients suffering from cancer. In 2019, the first high-tech radiosurgery was carried out, ensuring the patient’s well-being and destroying the tumour in a few sessions.


This method is not only unique in the country but throughout Latin America, thanks to the connectivity achieved between diagnosis and treatment, given by the 3 Tesla Skyra Nuclear Magnetic Resonator, Positron Emission Tomography (PET-CT), both of Siemens and Elekta’s Infinity linear accelerator.

Ricardo Ruggeri, director of Medical Physics of the IOC and the Medical Foundation of Río Negro and Neuquén, explained to LM Neuquén that “it is the first image-guided radiosurgery during the treatment and non-invasive of the region, which represents an important quality leap not only in the use of technology but in the joint work of specialists ”. The procedure, which with conventional radiotherapy techniques, can take around 15 to 45 days, can now go from one session to a maximum of five days. “We talk about an ablation, destruction of the tumour in very few sessions, taking care of all healthy organs, with excellent results,” Ruggeri said.

In this first experience, brain radiosurgery of metastasis of old breast cancer that the patient, around 50 years of age, was treated in just three days. “It was a painless treatment that allowed the patient, as well as walking, talking, and be happy without any strange sensation,” said the specialist. He added: “Obviously, he entered with fear because one knows he is facing cancer and radiosurgery, but he left happy, excited by the results.”

The Integral Oncology Center of Neuquén and the Medical Foundation of Río Negro and Neuquén are part of Leben Salud

Accuracy and the Team

Radiosurgery has a sub-millimetre quality compared to radiotherapy, which speaks of centimetres of margins. “Here we talk about millimetres or sub millimetres; with this technology, we rely on nuclear magnetic resonance and mark the lesion to be treated,” Ruggeri said.

And he said: “With those same images – with tiny margins – we can do the treatment, that is, the patient lies down, a tomography is done on the treatment table, and a robotic table adjusts the patient’s positioning based on resonance images and PET-CT ”. Radiosurgery is like an accurate scalpel, it does the same, but in this case, it destroys the tumour by radiation.

This type of unique technology, where diagnostic and treatment technology is incorporated in the same centre and with the same work team, is currently only accessible in specialty clinics in the United States, Germany or Japan, for example. For its application, a multi-interdisciplinary team of 15 professionals participates, including medical specialists in diagnostic imaging, radiotherapists, medical physicists and technicians, oncologists, and psycho-oncologists, among others.

From the theoretical days to the practice that followed in the world, The application of precision radiosurgery embodied the international training at the IOC. Medical physicists from all over the country participated in an intensive workshop given by Dr Rodolfo Alfonso, a world expert in the field and an expert from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

“They are following our evolution from all over the world institutions and companies dedicated to health, to see the results of the application of this technology in connectivity, and integration between cancer diagnosis and treatment, because we are breaking the paradigm that is isolated specialties,” said Ruggeri.

Source: Imneuquen

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