Chalmers Adds New Linear Accelerator for Cancer Treatment

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By John Green The Hutchinson News jgreen@hutchnews.com

 

Chalmers Cancer Treatment Center at Hutchinson Regional Medical Center recently added a new linear accelerator, hospital officials announced.
The TrueBeam system, from Varian Medical Systems, enables a different approach to treating cancer with image-guided radiotherapy, allowing for delivery of more powerful cancer treatments with pinpoint accuracy and precision.
The new technology makes it possible to deliver treatments more quickly and accurately, allowing new possibilities for the treatment of lung, breast, prostate, head and neck, as well as other cancers that are treatable with radiotherapy, according to a news release.
“This linear accelerator is a real game changer that will enable us to treat even the most challenging cases with unprecedented speed and precision,” Dr. Surendra Verma, radiation oncologist with Chalmers, stated in the release.
“This makes it possible for us to offer faster, more targeted treatments for tumors as they change over time,” he said.
Dose delivery rates are 40 to 140 percent higher than earlier generations of equipment, which increases patient comfort by shortening treatments, and improves precision by leaving less time for tumor motion during dose delivery.
Simple treatments that once took 15 minutes or more now can be done in less than two minutes, once the patient is in position, the release stated.
TrueBeam combines imaging, beam delivery and sophisticated motion management to accurately and precisely target tumors with speed. It rotates around the patient to deliver a prescribed radiation dose from nearly any angle.
The system also offers RapidArc radiotherapy, which makes it possible to quickly deliver treatment during a continuous rotation around the patient.
The RapidArc imaging capabilities let the clinician see the location of the tumor in three dimensions before treatment. If the cancer has moved due to physical changes, treatment can be adjusted so the patient receives a precise treatment.
“With this technology, we can treat a moving tumor as if it were standing still,” Dr. Verma stated. “We expect this to make a meaningful difference for cancer patients in the area. This type of technology is a very good option for treatment of cancers of the head and neck, prostate, and abdominal tumors.”
“This is a breakthrough that lets us bring a wider spectrum of advanced radiotherapy treatment options to many more patients,” he said.