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Press Releases

Holy Name on the Forefront of Cancer Treatment with the TrueBeam™ Radiotherapy System

Date: 6/26/2014

In a promising development for cancer patients in the metro area, Holy Name Medical Center announces that it now offers the TrueBeam system, an innovative system that enables a radically different approach to treating cancer with image-guided radiotherapy.

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.

"TrueBeam is a real game-changer that will enable us to treat even the most challenging cases with unprecedented speed and precision," said Benjamin Rosenbluth, MD, Medical Director of Radiation Oncology at Holy Name Medical Center . "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."

Faster Treatments
With dose delivery rates that are 40-140 percent higher than earlier generations of Varian technology, the TrueBeam system can complete a treatment in less time. 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 Dr. Rosenbluth. "Patients will spend a whole lot less time lying still, immobilized on a hard surface."

Enhanced Precision
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.

For lung and other tumors subject to respiratory motion, TrueBeam offers gated RapidArc® radiotherapy, which makes it possible to monitor patient breathing and compensate for tumor motion while quickly delivering the dose during a continuous rotation around the patient. "During the last decade, lung cancer became the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women in the United States," said Dr. Rosenbluth. "With TrueBeam, we can treat a moving lung tumor as if it were standing still. We expect this to make a meaningful difference for lung cancer patients in the area."

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. Rosenbluth. "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  a wide variety of radiotherapy treatments including image-guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery (IGRT and IGRS), intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), RapidArc® radiotherapy and gated RapidArc.  "With TrueBeam, we can select the optimal treatment for every type of cancer," said Dr. Rosenbluth. "This is a breakthrough that lets us bring a wider spectrum of advanced radiotherapy treatment options to many more patients. It represents a quantum leap in our ability to help people fight cancer."