BCC Offers Technology for Higher Precision in Radiation Treatment

Baptist Cancer Center now offers new technology at its Memphis and DeSoto radiation clinics to provide an even higher level of precision and accuracy during radiation treatment. The technology also assists with protecting healthy tissue during treatment.

Patients at Baptist Cancer Center have access to treatment with the TrueBeam radiotherapy system from Varian and the AlignRT system for Surface Guided Radiation Therapy (SGRT) from Vision RT.

Kevin Bronson, metro chief physicist for Baptist, explained that in radiation oncology, there are two critical steps – precisely positioning the patient and delivering the radiation so that it hits the tumor and spares normal tissue as much as possible.

He said, “We want to treat with technology that has the highest level of precision and accuracy, which is TrueBeam. We also need to position the patient, and AlignRT gives us that precise localization and positioning of the patient so that when we go in with the radiation, we’re doing it exactly like we planned to.”

AlignRT creates a map or representation of the patient for precise positioning, while TrueBeam, an all-digital platform that features 3D imaging, ensures the course of the radiation delivery is as accurate as possible by monitoring the positional accuracy of all relevant components every five nanoseconds. Not only has the frequency of the monitoring for positional accuracy greatly increased compared to older technology, but the degree to which TrueBeam monitors the position has increased, as well.

TrueBeam also features an onboard imager that can take a CT while the patient is in the room to help further confirm and align the patient, as well as a robotic treatment couch, PerfectPitch6DOF, that has 6 degrees of freedom and can pitch or roll the patient to prevent the need for repositioning.

Reliability is also enhanced. Since TrueBeam is a digital platform, it can report its status nightly to Varian, which allows for proactively addressing any machine issues before they actually become issues.

These technologies can be used to treat almost any kind of cancer, but treating left-sided breast cancer is where AlignRT is especially beneficial for protecting the heart, noted Kevin.

Patients with left-sided breast cancer are asked to do a Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH) to protect the heart during radiation treatment. This deep breath displaces the chest wall away from the heart. The diaphragm drops down, and the heart moves down and out of the treatment field.

“You can get the heart out of the radiation field, which means you can give a lower dose to the heart. AlignRT helps by generating the surface map of the treatment area, allowing for precise positioning when the patient takes in that deep breath,” said Kevin.

Learn more at baptistcancercenter.com.