News | February 03, 2011

Washington University First to Incorporate Real-Time, Automated Gating

February 3, 2011 – The Siteman Cancer Center at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is the first facility in the world to equip their Calypso System with Dynamic Edge Gating technology. The system, from Calypso Medical Technologies, automates the response to organ motion by sending signals to the linear accelerator to disable or re-enable the radiation beam during treatment based on the location of the tumor.

The safeguard from unintended radiation may lead to a further decrease in the side effects associated with prostate radiotherapy such as bowel and bladder incontinence and sexual dysfunction.

“Since Calypso’s gating solution uses the actual tumor target as a reference point, the resulting signal sent to the linear accelerator about when to hold or turn the beam on is accurate,” said Lakshmi Santanam, Ph.D., assistant professor, department of radiation oncology at Washington University School of Medicine. “With this enhanced capability to automatically manage tumor motion, we’ll have more confidence that our radiation delivery is on target and that adjacent healthy tissue is not compromised. We are very pleased to have this technology available to help guide our daily patient treatment sessions.”

The system, with its GPS for the Body technology, utilizes miniature implanted Beacon transponders to provide precise, continuous information on the location of the tumor during external beam radiation therapy. Dynamic Edge Gating technology allows therapists to set motion thresholds that automatically signal radiation delivery to be stopped each time the targeted tissue moves outside the preset threshold. The technology was recently cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Previously, the system relied upon the therapist to manually intervene and halt radiation delivery when healthy tissue was in danger of receiving unintended radiation. The automation of this function eliminates operator subjectivity, which results in a more uniform approach to radiation delivery.

“Calypso’s gating technology helps to control the inter-therapist variability inherent in multiple session radiation therapy by automating a previously manual function and basing beam-hold interventions on objective data, specific for each patient,” said Edward Vertatschitsch, president and CEO of Calypso Medical. “Moreover, the added safeguard of Dynamic Edge Gating against unintended radiation will provide peace of mind for both physicians and patients that the prescribed dose of radiation is delivered to the intended target area.”

The company’s electromagnetic technology is the only non-ionizing guidance solution to keep the treatment precisely focused on the target without adding unnecessary radiation.

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