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VIDEO: Quantify Geometric Distortion on MR Systems Using a High-precision Phantom From Modus QA

Quality Assurance (QA) | December 06, 2019

Modus QA is proud to offer a superior phantom for quantifying geometric distortion in modern MRgRT applications. Watch this video to discover how the entire QA process including set-up and data analysis can be completed in under 10 minutes.

Radiation Oncology

Quality Assurance (QA) | December 06, 2019

Modus QA is proud to offer a superior phantom for quantifying geometric distortion in modern MRgRT applications. Watch this video to discover how the entire QA process including set-up and data analysis can be completed in under 10 minutes.

Artificial Intelligence | October 22, 2019

David Sjostrom, Ph.D., deputy chief physicist, Herlev Hospital, Department of Oncology, Division of Radiotherapy, Herlev, Denmark, shares the first clinical experience treating cancer patients with the Varian Ethos radiation therapy system. He spoke to ITN at ASTRO 2019, where he presented information on the first 5 patients in the world being treated with this new technology. It uses artificial intelligence to take the onboard cone beam CT scans to automatically create an adaptive plan for any changes in patient weight loss, bladder volume, or change in tumor size. The plan can be available in minutes while the patient is on the table. It enables sparing of more healthy tissue and makes adaptive therapy much easier to use. 

 

Radiation Oncology | October 11, 2019

Lorraine Drapek, DNP, nurse practitioner, radiation oncology, GI service, Massachusetts General Hospital, explains the roles of advanced practice providers in radiation therapy. She spoke on this topic at ASTRO 2019 at a session that reviewed the integration of APPs into radiation oncology practice to enhance clinical care. This includes but is not limited to: on-treatment management, symptom and acute toxicity management during treatment, inpatient consultations, procedural assistance, treatment planning, follow-up, survivorship and research.

Radiation Therapy | October 08, 2019

Kristin Higgins, M.D., medical director of radiation oncology, Emory Clinic at the Winship Cancer Institute, explains considerations when treating previous radiation oncology patients again at the same or other tumor sites. She spoke on this topic at the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) 2019 annual meeting in Chicago.

More coverage of ASTRO 2019

Prostate Cancer | September 30, 2019

Bill Hartsell, M.D., medical director of the Northwestern Medicine Proton Center in Warrenville, Ill., discusses the outcomes of a trial investigating the use of a hydrogel spacer to hold the rectum away from the prostate during radiation therapy treatments. The trial was presented at the 2019 American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) annual meeting. 

Read the article "Augmenix Announces Positive Three-Year Long-Term Data for SpaceOAR Hydrogel Spacer"

Read the article "Latest Advances in Prostate Cancer Radiotherapy"

More coverage of ASTRO 2019

Radiation Therapy | September 27, 2019

Candice Johnstone, M.D., MPH, Medical College of Wisconsin explains the need for palliative radiotherapy and patient selection considerations at the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) 2019 annual meeting. 

Despite improvements in the survival of some populations of cancer patients, some patients are not candidates for ablative therapy and need symptom relief. Cases will be used to highlight evidenced based approaches to palliative radiation therapy. A significant proportion of patients do not benefit from immunotherapy and need standard palliative radiation. The best palliative radiation utilizes the fewest number of fractions to achieve the desired effect, minimizes side effects of treatment and treatment related costs.

More coverage of ASTRO 2019

Radiation Therapy | September 26, 2019

Clifford Robinson, M.D., associate professor of radiation oncology, chief of the SBRT (stereotactic body radiation therapy) service, director of clinical trials, Washington University, St. Louis, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, explains the longer term results of cardiac radiotherapy ablation to treat ventricular tachycardia. 

The results of the ENCORE-VT study were presented at ASTRO 2019.

Read the article "Noninvasive Radioablation Offers Long-term Benefits to High-risk Heart Arrhythmia Patients"

More coverage of ASTRO 2019

Radiation Oncology | September 20, 2019

Anne Hubbard, MBA, director of health policy for ASTRO, explains the details and purpose of the proposed Radiation Oncology Alternative Payment Model (RO Model) at the ASTRO 2019 meeting.

In July 2019, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) issued a proposed rule establishing the RO Model. It requires participation from about 40 percent of radiation oncology practices in a model that dramatically changes the way Medicare pays for radiation therapy services. The RO Model is designed to test whether prospective episode-based payments to physician group practices (PGPs), hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) and freestanding radiation therapy centers for episodes of care would reduce Medicare expenditures while preserving or enhancing the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries. CMMI proposes launching the model as early as Jan. 1, 2020.

Related Content

CMS Proposes New Alternative Payment Model for Radiation Oncology

ASTRO Releases Comments on Proposed CMS Radiation Oncology Alternative Payment Model

Additional ASTRO 2019 coverage

 

Radiation Therapy | September 20, 2019

ITN Associate Editor Jeff Zagoudis speaks with Vinai Gondi, M.D., co-director of the Brain Tumor Center at the Northwestern Medicine Cancer Center, about the long-term results of a radiation therapy technique called hippocampal avoidance to preserve neurocognitive function for cancer patients with brain metastases at the 2019 American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) annual meeting.

Watch the VIDEO: Advancements in Radiation Therapy for Brain Cancer and the VIDEO: Multidisciplinary Treatment of Brain Tumors, a previous two-part interview with Gondi.

Read the article "Hippocampal Avoidance Using IMRT Now Recommended as Standard of Care for Brain Metastases"

Quality Assurance (QA) | September 04, 2019

Modus QA is proud to offer the world's first MR-safe Motion QA phantom for simulation, planning and delivery applications. Watch the video to see how the integrated design saves setup time and increases operational efficiency.

View the video here: 

Proton Therapy | August 21, 2019

A new area for proton therapy in treatment of eye cancer, because of the ability to control the tissue penetration and eliminate full beam lines through a multitude of critical structures in the head. RaySearch unveiled a new treatment planning software for the eye at the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) 2019 meeting. The vendor showed some of the first patient cases coming out of the Westdeutsches Protonentherapiezentrum Essen (WPE) proton center in Germany. RaySearch said several U.S. proton centers had interest in the technology at the conference.

Find more news and video from AAPM

 

Treatment Planning | August 21, 2019

This is an example of the Mirada DLCExpert deep learning software that automatically identifies organs, segments and auto-contours them as the first step in creating radiation oncology treatment plans. This example of a segmented prostate computed tomography (CT) scan being used to plan radiotherapy was created without any human intervention. It was demonstrated at the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) 2019 meeting. 

This example shows OAR Space hydrogel (outlined in blue) injected to create space between the prostate and the rectum to prevent damage to that radiation sensitive structure. The gel is hard to identify on the CT scan because it looks like part of the rectum or prostate. But the softwares AI has been trained to identify it when present.

The DLCExpert software was cleared by the FDA in July 2018 and was first shown at ASTRO 2018. It automatically identifies anatomical structures and contours them to save staff time. The files created by the software are vendor neutral and can be imported into any vendor’s treatment planning system. Read more about this software. 

Find more news and video from AAPM

Patient Positioning Radiation Therapy | August 21, 2019

This is a quick demonstration of the Varian Identify image-guided patient positioning system at the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) 2019 meeting. It helps align patients on the radiotherapy system treatment table to match the position they were in when the computed tomography (CT) scan was created. This ensures the radiation beams are delivered according to the treatment plan and will not be aimed accidentally at health tissue. It uses real-time tracking of the surface of the patient's skin using three visible light emitters, so it does not add dose, such as when on-board X-ray imaging is used. The system compares the patients position to the treatment plan CT scan and color codes in red any areas that are not in the proper position. It also uses RFID tags on the table to help know the exact position of the patient.

The system can show the radiotherapist if the patient is no longer aligned with the plan and the therapist can manually stop the therapy. The vendor said in the future, they plan to integrate the system with Varian's therapy systems so treatment will be stopped automatically by the Identify system. 

The system also uses a biometric scanner to ensure the correct plan is being used with the correct patient. 

Find more news and video from AAPM

Treatment Planning | August 21, 2019

This is a lung cancer tumor radiotherapy treatment plan for the Accuray CyberKnife system demonstrated at the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) 2019 meeting. The blue lines are the radiation beam lines that are shot from different positions to all intersect in the tumor to deliver the prescribed amount of radiation and prevent damage to surrounding healthy tissue. The beams also are planned around the critical structure organs near the target tumor to limit their dose. The organs are color coded to differentiate them on the treatment plan and to help with the estimated radiation dose each receives based on the plan. After the plan is optimized, it is fed into the radiotherapy treatment system computer to deliver the treatment once the patient is positioned on the treatment table exactly as they are in the CT scans used to create the plan. 

Find more news and video from AAPM

 

 

Computed Tomography (CT) | August 21, 2019

This is a quick walk around of a mobile 32-slice computed tomography (CT) scanner used for surgery, brachytherapy and proton therapy on display by Mobius Imaging at the 2019 American Association Of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) meeting. The system simply plugs into a standard wall outlet and all of the required hardware and software is built into the gantry. There is no need for an equipment closet, cabinet or server tower. The company said the CT system was created by some of the same developers who built the O-arm mobile CT system, but they said this CT scanner is much more compact.

 

Radiation Therapy | July 30, 2019

Pierre Qian, MBBS, cardiac electrophysiologist fellow, Brigham and Women's Hospital, explains how his facility is working with radiation oncology to use radio therapy to noninvasively ablate ventricular tachycardia (VT). He spoke on this topics during a joint electrophysiology session by the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) and the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT) at the SCCT 2019 meeting.

Find more SCCT news and videos

AAPM | July 29, 2019

Brent Parker, Ph.D., DABR, professor of radiation physics and medical physicist at MD Anderson Cancer Center, explains how the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) is creating guidelines to better define the roles of non-physicist assistants. He said there is a lack of state regulatory oversight for medical physicists or their assistants, partly because there are no guidelines from the medical societies. AAPM has created a series of policy statements to better define these the roles and requirements for all of these positions. Parker said the goal is to give state regulators the the definitions needed to create oversight guidelines. He spoke on this topic in sessions at the AAPM 2019 meeting. 

Find more news and videos from AAPM.

AAPM | July 29, 2019

Mahadevappa Mahesh, Ph.D., chief of medical physicist and professor of radiology and medical physics, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and treasurer of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), explains some of the trends in medical physics and new features of the AAPM 2019 meeting. 

Watch the related VIDEO: Bridging Diversity in Medical Physics to Improve Patient Care — Interview with AAPM President Cynthia McCollough, Ph.D., at the 2019 AAPM meeting.
 

Find more news and videos from AAPM.

Radiation Therapy | July 23, 2019

Paul Liu, Ph.D., post-doctoral research associate, Image X Institute at the University of Sydney, Australia, explains how his center is working on a low-cost radiation therapy system for the developing world. The Nano-X system will use a fixed linac gantry and rotate the patient around the beam. This would lighten the weight of the system, reduce the need for room shielding, and cut the number of moving parts to lower costs and ease maintenance. Liu spoke about the project in sessions at the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) 2019 meeting.

 

Find more news and videos from AAPM.

AAPM | July 23, 2019

Cynthia McCollough, Ph.D., director of the Mayo Clinic Computed Tomography (CT) Clinical Innovation Center, professor of medical physics and biomedical engineering, and the 2019 president of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), explains the "building bridges" theme of the 2019 AAPM meeting. 

This theme was the focus of her president’s address at the 2019 AAPM meeting. She spoke on the theme of diversity and how to break down the barriers between various minorities, male-female, religion, national origin, etc. She gave many photo examples of how we pigeon hole people into neat categories and that we often say we have equally in society, however her images showed recent images of big political summits where there are no women present, or they were the secretaries in the background. She said in medical practice, department administration and collaboration on projects, people need to be cognoscente of bias they have engrained by culture for which they may not even be aware.

She showed a slide of the AAPM membership makeup by generation and said members need to keep in mind the way each generation thinks and communicates varies by their generation's life experience and upbringing. McCollough said understanding these differences can help bridge perceived gaps in communication. 

Find more news and videos from AAPM.

Brachytherapy Systems | July 23, 2019

Lior Arazi, Ph.D., assistant professor at Ben-Gurion University, Israel, explains the potential benefits of a new Radium-224 brachytherapy seed technology he is helping develop. The technology uses high-dose alpha particles to kill cancer cells, but has a very short tissue penetration, so it can be placed very close to critical structures without causing collateral damage to healthy tissue. He discussed this technology in sessions at the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) 2019 meeting.

 

Find more news and videos from AAPM.

Radiation Oncology | July 22, 2019

Stephen Sorensen, Ph.D., DABR, chief of medical physics, St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona, explains the first commercial use of the Zap-X stereotactic radio surgery (SRS) brain radiotherapy system. The system uses a capsule-like shield to surround the gantry and patient, eliminating the need for expensive room build outs requiring vaults. The goal of the system is to expand SRS brain therapy by making it easier and less expensive to acquire the treatment system. Sorensen spoke about this system in sessions at the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) 2019 meeting.

 

Find more news and videos from AAPM.

 

Artificial Intelligence | July 22, 2019

Leigh Conroy, Ph.D., physics resident, University Health Network, Princess Margaret Cancer Center, Toronto, Canada, explains how her center is using machine learning to automate treatment plans. The center is one of the first to use the RayStation machine learning treatment planning system for radiation oncology. She spoke at the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) 2019 meeting. 

Learn more about how this technology works in the VIDEO: Editor's Choice of the Most Innovative Technologies at AAPM 2018.

Find more news and videos from AAPM.

 

Radiation Therapy | May 21, 2019

This is a walk through of the ViewRay MRIdian MRI-guided radiotherapy system installed at Henry Ford Medical Center — Cottage. The system has been in service for about two years. The walk through shows the entry way into the vault and the warnings about entering an MRI environment. Anyone who enters the treatment room must undergo a metal detector scan first to make sure all ferrous metal is removed.

Read more about the center's first year experience with the system.

Find more Henry Ford Hospital related content.

Radiation Oncology | May 13, 2019

At ASTRO 2018, Accuray showcased new patient-first innovations, including motion synchronization on Radixact, and the new CK VoLO, a fast optimizer on the CyberKnife system. Andrew Delao, senior director of marketing for Accuray, highlights the new features.

 

Related content:

itnTV "Conversations": The Accuray Philosophy

 

Cardio-oncology | March 22, 2019

Magid Awadalla, MBBS, is an advanced cardiac imaging research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital. He has been involved in an imaging study of cardiac changes from photon radiotherapy in breast cancer patients using serial cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The radiotherapy beams used to treat breast cancer pass close to the neighboring heart, which can cause cardiac cell damage leading to issues like heart failure later on. He spoke on the topic of cardio-oncology at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) 2019 meeting.

Proton Therapy | March 01, 2019

ITN Associate Editor Jeff Zagoudis speaks with Mark Pankuch, Ph.D., director of physics and dosimetry at the Northwestern Medicine Chicago Proton Center, about the differences between proton and photon radiotherapy and his daily operations at the Warrenville, Ill. center.

Proton Therapy | February 28, 2019

ITN Associate Editor Jeff Zagoudis speaks with Bill Hartsell, M.D., medical director at the Northwestern Medicine Chicago Proton Center, about operating costs, reimbursement and other financial aspects of proton therapy

Watch the VIDEO: Proton Therapy Treatment at Northwestern Medicine, part 1 of the interview with Hartsell.

Additional videos and coverage of Northwestern Medicine

Artificial Intelligence | February 27, 2019

Here is an example of new artificial intelligence (AI) driven health information systems that aim to improve efficiency, speed workflow and make finding relevant patient data fast. This is the Philips Intellispace Oncology software displayed at the Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS) 2019 meeting. This dash board page for a cancer patient offers a great overview on a single screen so physicians do not have to do a lot of clicking around to find what they need. 

The top of the screen has a timeline showing all patient encounters related to their cancer, including imaging exams, labs, pathology, procedures, etc. All are clickable and show a small pop-up box with a key image and brief description, and a link to the full set of images and the full report.  Other boxes on the screen help organize the relevant patient data into easily digestible bits with links to full reports or areas of the patient record. An analytics button at the bottom of the page opens a window showing charts for things like tumor follow-up assessments to quickly show if the patient is responding to treatment.

Look through a photo gallery of other new technologies at HIMSS19. 

Find other news and video from HIMSS 2019. 

 

Proton Therapy | February 26, 2019

ITN Associate Editor Jeff Zagoudis speaks with Bill Hartsell, M.D., medical director at the Northwestern Medicine Chicago Proton Center, about day-to-day operations and cutting-edge treatments at the Warrenville, Ill. center.

Additional videos and coverage of Northwestern Medicine

Radiation Therapy | February 21, 2019

ITN Associate Editor Jeff Zagoudis speaks with Christy Kesslering, M.D., medical director of radiation oncology at the Northwestern Medicine Cancer Center, about the different radiation therapy options for breast cancer patients offered at the center.

Watch the VIDEOs Advancements in Radiation Therapy for Brain Cancer and Multidisciplinary Treatment of Brain Tumors with Vinai Gondi, M.D., director of research and CNS neuro-oncology at the Northwestern Medicine Cancer Center.

Additional videos and coverage of Northwestern Medicine 

Radiation Therapy | February 20, 2019

ITN Associate Editor Jeff Zagoudis speaks with Vinai Gondi, M.D., director of research and CNS neuro-oncology at the Northwestern Medicine Cancer Center, about the Neuro-Oncology Multidisciplinary Clinic (NOMDC) at the center that emphasizes collaboration between clinicians to take a patient-centered approach to brain tumor cases. 

Watch the VIDEO: Advancements in Radiation Therapy for Brain Cancer, part 1 of the interview with Gondi.

Additional videos and coverage of Northwestern Medicine

Radiation Therapy | February 15, 2019

ITN Associate Editor Jeff Zagoudis speaks with Vinai Gondi, M.D., director of research and CNS neuro-oncology at the Northwestern Medicine Cancer Center, about the cutting-edge radiotherapy treatments and research being done at the Warrenville, Ill. center.

Watch the VIDEO: Multidisciplinary Treatment of Brain Tumors, part 2 of the interview with Gondi.

Additional videos and coverage of Northwestern Medicine

Lung Cancer | January 29, 2019

Gregory Videtic, M.D., staff physician in radiation oncology at the Cleveland Clinic, and David Johnstone, M.D., professor of surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin, discuss the factors in deciding how to treat patients with marginally operable non-small cell lung cancer at the 2018 Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting.

Radiation Therapy | January 18, 2019
Join Chris Toth, president of Varian’s Oncology Systems business, for a look at product introductions for 2018 plus a peek at the company’s roadmap for the future. Chris highlights:
 

  • Varian’s new Bravos afterloader system for high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy;
  • Varian’s new ProBeam 360 single-room proton therapy system, with its lower-cost, 30 percent smaller footprint;
  • The company’s vision of — and development work towards — an artificial intelligence-powered multimodality adaptive radiotherapy suite; and
  • Pre-clinical research into ultra-high-dose-rate cancer treatment with protons.
Radiation Therapy | December 06, 2018

Radiation therapy has become increasingly effective and safe as vendors continue to innovate technologies that benefit the patient. At ASTRO 2018, this patient-centric approach was exemplified and demonstrated not only in ways that match treatments to patients, but in how technologies can adjust to patient movement and anatomical changes, and to increase the precision of treatments. ITN Contributing Editor Greg Freiherr showcases several new technologies that are helping to advance this field.

For additional patient-centered care coverage, see:

Conversations with Greg Freiherr: The Accuray Philosophy

ASTRO Puts Patients First

Radiation Oncology | November 30, 2018

Accuray's philosophy is to personalize treatments to exactly fit the patient. Senior Director of Marketing Andrew Delao explains this philosophy in a conversation with Greg Freiherr at ASTRO 2018.

Artificial Intelligence | November 28, 2018

This is an example of how artificial intelligence (AI) can help improve patient care by pulling together patient data from numerous sources and then select medical records that are specific to a patient’s diagnosis and treatment for a defined disease state. This is Siemens’ AI-Pathway Companion introduced at the Radiological Society Of North America (RSNA) 2018 meeting. In this examples. A prostate cancer patient has all their data on a single time line that can be accessed by single clicks on the points to open reports, images, procedures or labs.

At the end of the time line it integrates AI driven clinical decision support that recommends the next course of action based on clinical guidelines. The guidelines cited can also be opened for review by the clinician.

 

ASTRO | November 08, 2018

ITN Editor Dave Fornell took a tour of some of the most innovative technologies on display on the expo floor at the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) 2018 conference. The overview includes new technologies for proton therapy, MRI-guded radiation therapy, PET-guided radiotherapy, brachytherapy, SRS quality assurance, 3-D printing and mobile connectivity to the oncology information system.

Find links to all the ASTRO 2018 latebreakers, key news and VIDEOS in the article "Late-breaking Radiation Therapy Clinical Trials at ASTRO 2018."
 

Brachytherapy Systems, Women's Healthcare | November 07, 2018

An interview with A. M. Niser Syed, M.D., medical director, radiation oncology and endocurietherapy, MemorialCare Cancer Institute, Long Beach, Calif. At the American Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ASTRO) 2018 annual meeting, he presented a study of 1,200 patients using a single session of intra-operative radiation therapy (IORT) using the Xoft X-ray emitting brachytherapy system.