News | July 24, 2014

Brainlab Introduces New Concept for Treatment of Multiple Brain Metastases

Automatic brain metastases planning software could transform current treatment paradigms

July 24, 2014 — Brainlab announced the release of its Elements automatic brain metastases planning software. The new software will simplify stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) planning for metastatic brain tumors and is the newest addition to the Elements A La Carte software portfolio. It was showcased at the 2014 annual meeting of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) in Austin, Texas. The software is a work in progress and currently not for sale in the United States.

“When a patient develops more than one metastasis in the brain, one of the best treatment options available – radiosurgery – becomes impractical because the treatment time increases at the same rate as the number of metastases,” said Stefan Vilsmeier, president and CEO at Brainlab. “With our new technology, we are poised as a company to shift the treatment paradigm and provide more treatment options and a consistent way to deliver them.”

Brain metastases are the most common type of brain tumors, and the numbers continue to rise due to improved diagnostics and control of the primary disease. Whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT) is still considered the standard of care; however it has been shown that WBRT can only prevent new tumors arising for a maximum of six months. There is clear recognition that not all patients with brain metastases have equivalently poor survival outcome, and a significant group lives for a longer period of time, prompting the debate regarding whether the patients in at least the best-prognosis category should be treated solely with more aggressive therapies upfront and keep WBRT as an option for later. Brainlab automatic brain metastases planning software brings to market technology that consistently and rapidly generates radiosurgery plans for the efficient treatment of multiple metastases.

“The [software] enables a ‘monitor-unit,’ and time-efficient treatment planning and delivery, while reducing the dose to healthy brain tissue,” said Niko Papanikolaou, Ph.D., chief medical physicist, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio. “This novel approach to the treatment of metastatic brain tumors from Brainlab can potentially benefit several patients that are currently receiving whole-brain radiation. We can now plan and treat metastatic brain cancer, for patients with larger volumes and higher number of metastases without the anticipated association of a decline in neurocognitive function.”

Automatic brain metastases planning automatically selects a group of metastases in such a way that the multileaf collimator (MLC) fits to the shapes of these selected targets without leaving gaps. The algorithm generates an optimized volumetric conformal radiosurgery plan in a matter of minutes after all metastases have been outlined. With this new treatment concept, the software creates an optimized dose distribution no matter if one or ten metastases are being treated.

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