News | May 11, 2015

Austrian Ion Beam Therapy Center First to Adopt Dual Patient Positioning System

Solution combines robotic track with positioning verification system

MedAustron, BEC, medPhoton, IRS, exacure, patient positioning, ion beam therapy

The Imaging Ring System from medPhoton is one part of the new patient positioning solution at the MedAustron Ion Beam Therapy Center.

May 11, 2015 — Austrian ion beam therapy center MedAustron will be the first center globally to employ a new tandem solution from BEC GmbH and medPhoton for accurate patient positioning during ion beam therapy.

To guarantee a successful ion beam treatment — a particularly accurate and effective form of radiation therapy — it is essential to position the patient accurately in relation to the radiation beam and to permanently observe and, if necessary, adapt the patient position during the whole treatment session.

MedAustron will be the first ion beam therapy center worldwide to use completely new medical systems for these tasks: the exacure system of BEC GmbH (Reutlingen, Germany) as well as the Imaging Ring of medPhoton (Salzburg, Austria).

A custom-modified industrial robot, designed and adapted for medical use, is the core of the exacure system. Its most distinctive feature is the ceiling mount, which allows for movement in seven independent degrees of freedom. The robot can not only be positioned in all three dimensions and six degrees of freedom, but can also be moved along the ceiling towards and away from the beam nozzle in order to further improve flexibility of patient positioning. Another advantage of the ceiling-mounted system is the integrated optical tracking system: It monitors the treatment couch position 500 times per second and applies corrections in real time, if necessary, to ensure optimal treatment results.

The Imaging Ring System (IRS) verifies the correct position of the patient prior to irradiation in order to treat the patient with the highest possible accuracy. The IRS is integrated into the patient couch and allows very fast three-dimensional cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) imaging. The CT images are compared with the CT image set used for treatment planning. Any necessary corrections can be executed by the Exacure robot immediately.

This procedure guarantees that the tumor is irradiated exactly as planned by the physicians. The IRS features a flat panel detector and an X-ray tube, assembled in such a way that they can be moved independently, thereby achieving previously unreachable acquisition speed, field-of-view and image quality.

"The unprecedented combination of these new systems at MedAustron provide unique accuracy, speed as well as image quality for radiation therapy, unparalleled in the areas of medical robotics and imaging. We are very proud to have engineered this highly innovative solution together with our partners BEC and medPhoton, establishing new standards in ion therapy," commented Bernd Mößlacher,  M.D., CEO of MedAustron, after the successful acceptance of the systems.

For more information: www.medaustron.net

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