Leading-Edge Radiation Therapy Can Make 'Huge Difference' for Cancer Patients
An advanced image-guided radiation therapy system – treating cancer with speed and accuracy while avoiding healthy tissues and organs – is available to cancer patients in central Nebraska.
The Varian TrueBeam linear accelerator was designed to treat complex cases of cancer that affect the lung, breast, stomach, brain, liver and prostate.
“We’re pleased to offer these advanced treatments to our patients here in central Nebraska,” said Dale Brummer, radiation supervisor/chief dosimetrist, Good Samaritan Cancer Center. “It’s the newest platform of radiation therapy equipment being produced.”
TrueBeam combines respiratory gating, real-time tracking, imaging and treatment in a streamlined system. This allows physicians to offer advanced treatment options, such as stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT), intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and RapidArc, which Brummer said can cut some treatment times from nearly 30 to five or 10 minutes.
“We’re able to deliver intensity-modulated therapy in a 360-degree arc entirely around the patient – rather than having multiple static fields at different locations,” Brummer said.
The system’s real-time imaging allows for greater accuracy in delivering high doses of radiation. TrueBeam’s respiratory gating technology gives doctors the ability to synchronize radiation beams with a patient’s breathing.
The bottom line: Patients potentially receive higher doses of radiation in a shorter time and spare tissue around the diseased area more efficiently than ever before.
“We can’t always guarantee that the treatment time can be shortened. A lot of that is driven by the particular disease and physician preference,” Brummer said. “But it can increase the dose rate to deliver the treatment more quickly. The patient doesn’t have to lie there for quite as long as in the past. For some patients, that can make a huge difference.”