News | January 22, 2013

Device allows patients to sit up during cancer treatments

An innovative modification of a treatment chair used with cancer patients allows those who have problems lying down during procedures to sit upright, providing greater comfort. The modified chair was developed to be used for proton therapy but can also be used in conventional radiation therapy, providing the chair can be attached to a robotic positioner.   

Engineers at ProCure Treatment Centers, Inc. (ProCure), which develops and operates a network of proton centers in the U.S., developed an intra-cranial chair to address the difficulty some patients have when they need to lie flat for treatment. The chair also gives proton centers the option of using less expensive beam delivery systems rather than large gantry systems, the industry standard for treating these cases, as it was designed with multiple rotation points that complement the limited beam angles offered by the inclined or fixed beam systems. ProCure also developed the inclined beam technology, which can be used to treat approximately 80 percent of tumors that normally require the use of a gantry, but in a space about half the size.
“Some patients, especially those with head and neck tumors, have difficulty swallowing while lying on a standard treatment table,” said Eugen Hug, M.D., ProCure medical director and chief medical officer. “Not only is this device helpful in greatly enhancing patient comfort but it improves patient flow by allowing us to use the inclined beam system for more people.” 
The intra-cranial chair is in use at ProCure’s Oklahoma and Illinois centers and is now commercially available to other proton centers, hospitals and radiation oncology practices.
 
“Our sole focus is providing exceptional patient care and we continue to do that by developing new innovations that place our patient’s comfort front and center,” said Niek Schreuder, senior vice president of medical physics and technology at ProCure. “Our engineers at the ProCure Training and Development Center strive to bring new and improved technology to cancer therapy, not only for our center but for all practices that are treating patients who could benefit.”
 
Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation and an important alternative to standard X-ray radiation for many patients with cancer and for some noncancerous tumors. Proton therapy has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of a broad range of tumor types including brain, central nervous system, gastrointestinal, head and neck, lung and prostate as well as sarcomas and many pediatric cancers. The precision of proton therapy makes it especially effective for treating children and adults with anatomically complex tumors such as base of skull and tumors along the spinal cord.
 
For more information: www.ProCure.com
 

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