News | November 04, 2010

Radiation Oncology Tools Simplify Treatment Planning

November 4, 2010 – Several new radiation oncology tools were on display at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) meeting in San Diego, Calif. The tools, by Philips, include 4-D imaging, a toolkit to evaluate organ motion and technology to help clinicians view critical structures near the sites of dense metal objects.

Also, the company displayed a tool that allows clinicians to “mark” an area and then initiate treatment via one workstation.

The Gemini TF Big Bore PET/CT (positron emission tomography/computed tomography) enhances the accuracy of treatment planning, while meeting the performance and connectivity requirements of radiation oncology.

“Physicians have long known that adding functional PET imaging to anatomical CT imaging would improve the ability to delineate tumors,” said Steven Braff, M.D., chair, radiology department, Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, Vt. “However, previous systems had a narrow bore size and offered poor positional accuracy. We often find ourselves using the 85 centimeter opening of the Gemini system to its full potential. The large bore is ideal when treating patients who need to be in extended positions and helps us provide the best care possible. The spacious opening is also very well-suited for patients with a high BMI, such as many of the cardiology patients we see.”

Radiation therapy planning is centralized with the Pinnacle SmartEnterprise, which provides remote access to complex therapy plans to treat patients across multiple locations. The Pinnacle SmartArc offers a planning module for volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) and an intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) modality. It is designed to significantly reduce treatment time compared with traditional IMRT.

The Swedish Cancer Institute (SCI) is currently using SmartArc in the treatment of a wide variety of cancers. Clinicians have found it to be useful for all treatment sites that benefit from IMRT.

“Like other clinicians, I want to deliver the highest possible dose of radiation to the tumor and spare the most normal tissue,” said Vivek Mehta, M.D., director of the Center for Advanced Targeted Radiotherapies and a radiation oncologist at the SCI. “It makes sense to me that we would use SmartArc VMAT in every patient that we would consider for IMRT. We tested this hypothesis on 50 consecutive patients and discovered that in 96 percent of the cases the VMAT plan was preferred over the conventional IMRT plan.”

For more information: www.philips.com

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