In a promising development for cancer patients in Middle Tennessee, Sarah Cannon Cancer Center at TriStar StoneCrest shared through a ribbon cutting event its new TrueBeam system, an innovative system that enables a radically different approach to treating cancer with image-guided radiation therapy.
The TrueBeam system, from Varian Medical Systems, was engineered from the ground up to deliver more powerful cancer treatments with pinpoint accuracy and precision. It uniquely integrates new imaging and motion management technologies within a sophisticated new architecture that makes it possible to deliver treatments more quickly while monitoring and compensating for tumor motion, opening the door to new possibilities for the treatment of lung, breast, prostate, head and neck, as well as other cancers that are treatable with radiotherapy. It became operational in November 2015.
"TrueBeam is a real game-changer that will enable us to treat even the most challenging cases with unprecedented speed and precision," said Dr. Chollet, Radiation Oncologist. "With a broad spectrum of new capabilities, TrueBeam breaks the mold in just about every dimension, making it possible for us to offer faster, more targeted treatments to tumors even as they move and change over time."
With dose delivery rates that are 40-140 percent higher than earlier generations of Varian technology, the TrueBeam system can complete a treatment commensurately faster. This makes it possible to offer greater patient comfort by shortening treatments, and to improve precision by leaving less time for tumor motion during dose delivery. "Intelligent" automation further speeds treatments with an up to fivefold reduction in the number of steps needed for image guidance and dose delivery.
Simple treatments that once took 15 minutes or more can be completed in less than two once the patient is in position. "These are significant reductions in treatment time," said Mark Everett, Director of Imaging. "Patients will spend a whole lot less time lying still, immobilized on a hard surface."
The precision of the TrueBeam system is measured in increments of less than a millimeter. This accuracy is made possible by the system's sophisticated architecture, which synchronizes imaging, patient positioning, motion management, beam shaping and dose delivery, performing accuracy checks every ten milliseconds throughout the entire treatment. Critical data points are measured continually as a treatment progresses, ensuring that the system maintains a "true isocenter," or focal point of treatment.
Faster Imaging at Lower Doses
TrueBeam imaging technology can produce the three-dimensional images used to fine-tune tumor targeting in 60% less time. Additional functionality makes it possible to create images using 25% less X-ray dose. "Imaging is an essential part of modern-day, targeted radiotherapy," explained Dr. Chollet. "This machine allows us to choose an imaging mode that minimizes the amount of X-rays needed to generate an image--and that's good for our patients."
TrueBeam can be used for radiation therapy treatments including image-guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery (IGRT and IGRS), intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), RapidArc® radiation therapy and gated RapidArc.
"With TrueBeam, we can select the optimal treatment for every type of cancer," said Dr. Chollet. "This is a breakthrough that lets us bring a wider spectrum of advanced radiation therapy treatment options to many more patients. It represents a quantum leap in our ability to help people fight cancer."