Heightened security ensures safe delivery of radioactive material for radiosurgery upgrade

A recent equipment improvement in UI Health Care’s Department of Radiation Oncology required some major activity on the Hawkins Drive side of Pomerantz Family Pavilion (PFP), including especially tight security.

That’s because the installation in April of a new Gamma Knife Icon radiosurgery system on the lower level of PFP included digging an access port and cutting an opening in the three-foot-thick foundation of the building so that a cask of Cobalt-60, a radioactive isotope, could be lowered by crane and delivered directly to the radiosurgery suite.

Because the amount of Cobalt-60 was so large, University of Iowa Police were on hand to secure the area during the highly specialized, three-hour delivery process.

The Gamma Knife Icon is the most accurate commercial system for radiosurgery and offers the potential for new functional radiosurgery applications such as treatment for essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease.

Installation of the new Gamma Knife Icon radiosurgery system included police
protection and specialized delivery of 6,000 Curies of radioactive Cobalt.