October 3, 2011
Fox Chase Researchers Identify More Accurate Treatment Delivery For Robotic Radiosurgery System
Radiosurgery is a non-invasive medical procedure in which focused beams of high-energy X-rays target tumors and other abnormalities in the body. A single large dose of radiation is capable of ablating a lesion that might not be amenable to surgical removal. However, some radiosurgery systems, such as the CyberKnife (CK), can be relatively time-consuming because the treatment planning requires the delivery of up to several hundred cone-shaped beams to adequately cover an irregularly shaped tumor. But a new study from Fox Chase Cancer Center now reports that there is an alternative to the conventional CyberKnife treatment delivery system. This new technique uses a multileaf collimator (MLC) and can flexibly sculpt a single radiation beam to match the exact contour of a tumor——significantly reducing the treatment time and minimizing the amount of radiation to the neighboring tissues.
Jiajin Fan, Ph.D., a radiation oncology physicist at Fox Chase, will present the study at the 2011 American Society for Radiation Oncology Annual Meeting on Sunday, October 2.
"Using the MLC plan, we can deliver radiation therapy much faster compared to the current CyberKnife technique, and we can achieve much better target coverage and a much sharper dose fall off than a regular IMRT plan," Fan says. "Basically, we can spare the critical structures around tumors much better , providing the ability to treat the tumor to a higher dose without increasing the normal tissue toxicity . Consequently, we can achieve better tumor control with less damage to the patient's body." The advantages associated with the CK-MLC plan offer great potential for the widespread clinical application of robotic radiotherapy, Fan adds.
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