UCLA Health opens radiation oncology treatment center in Santa Clarita

UCLA Health radiation oncology ETHOS machine team at the new treatment center in Santa Clarita on June 28, 2021. From left to right: Mary Willis, patient navigator; Ashley Keeler, radiation therapist; Sherri Alexander, dosimetrist; Dr. Michael Xiang, medical director of the UCLA Health radiation oncology center; Dr. Dylan O’Connell, medical physicist; and James Takakura, radiation therapist. Courtesy of Joshua Sudock/UCLA Health

UCLA Health opened a new radiation oncology treatment center, allowing Santa Clarita Valley residents more convenient access to care.

The new radiation oncology treatment center is located adjacent to its UCLA Santa Clarita Community Cancer Clinic, which diagnoses and treats cancer patients, and joins a chemotherapy infusion center in providing onsite treatment, allowing patients access to the full range of treatment services.

“It’s all under one roof — I like to call it a ‘one-stop-shop,’ (providing) completely integrated, comprehensive, convenient cancer care for this community,” said Dr. Michael Xiang, a UCLA radiation oncologist and medical director of the new treatment center. “I can’t really overstate just how excited and proud we are to be able to offer this resource to the community and really bring all that we have to offer to the patients out here in Santa Clarita.”

Additionally, the treatment center is one of just a dozen — and only the second in California — to adopt the state-of-the-art Ethos machine, which Xiang described as a “whole new paradigm” in radiation therapy.

Typically, radiation treatments are based on a set radiation plan build from a prior CT scan, but Ethos allows clinicians to deliver personalized and adaptive radiation treatments using real-time imaging of patients’ physiology, Xiang explained.

Dr. Michael Xiang, medical director of the UCLA Health radiation oncology center, right, uses the ETHOS machine at the new treatment center in Santa Clarita. Courtesy of Joshua Sudock/UCLA Health

“Patients are living beings, their anatomy is not static,” Xiang said. “We’re able to physically tweak and adapt on the fly the radiation plan so that it’s customized for the individual at the time of treatment.”

For Xiang, who said he’s always felt it was a privilege to take care of cancer patients because it’s a life-changing diagnosis, many of his patients become lifelong ones, as their conditions are followed over the course of their lives, which is why he said having access to the most advanced radiation treatments locally is so important.

“It really opened the door to a lot of patients who live in these communities to allow them to get their treatment a lot closer to home and keep all the care within one network,” Xiang said, adding that one of his patients who lives in Santa Clarita was first in line to transfer to the new center. “This is a quantum leap forward in terms of the level of cancer care that we’re able to provide to this community.”

The radiation oncology treatment center is located at 27235 Tourney Road, Suite 1400, and is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. For more information, visit UCLAHealth.org or call 661-287-0010. 

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