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Radiation therapy gets more targeted and personalized

by Lisa Chamoff, Contributing Reporter | September 18, 2017
Rad Oncology Radiation Therapy
From the September 2017 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine


Siker notes that when she encounters patients with a complicated geometry, she prefers to use the Radixact system. For example, she recently treated a prostate cancer patient who had undergone a bilateral hip replacement successfully with the Radixact system. While it is very difficult to visualize the prostate with most daily imaging systems, as the metal implants create artifacts, the high-dose MVCT image guidance on the Radixact helps overcome this obstacle.

Siker says the future of radiation therapy advancement will come with online adaptive treatment and personalized treatment plans.

"Being able to use daily imaging and adapt the plan on a daily basis is going to become exceedingly important," Siker says.

While online adaptation doesn't happen in the clinic, the Radixact system does make offline adaptations easier and more practical, Siker says.

"Currently, we are not able to adapt to changes in real time in the clinic," Siker says. "It takes time for planning in-between fractions. We know that's a priority for Accuray.

"Adaptive planning is certainly the future, but in some ways, the future is now. We've had many patients where anatomy has changed drastically during treatment - weight loss, tumors shrink. With Radixact, and with daily IGRT and adaptive models, it makes delivery of offline adaptive treatment possible."

Elekta also sees adapting to changes in real time as the future for radiotherapy. In April, Elekta introduced technology that enables real-time imaging during radiotherapy with its MR-linac, the Elekta Unity, which integrates a 1.5-Tesla MR scanner with a linear accelerator. The technology allows clinicians to visualize the size, shape and location of tumors and nearby healthy tissue during treatment and adapt it accordingly.

“The use of advanced image guidance applications can radically improve the accuracy of radiation dosing, allowing radiation therapy to be used safely and effectively in more patients and in new cancer indications,” says Peter Gaccione, executive vice president for Elekta’s North America region.

In May, Elekta announced that the University Medical Center Utrecht had treated the first patient as part of a clinical study.

A similar product from ViewRay, called the MRIdian Linac, was approved by the FDA in February and installed at the Henry Ford Cancer Institute in Michigan.

Elekta will also launch its MOSAIQ Oncology Analytics software solution at the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) 2017 annual meeting this month in San Diego.

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