New Linear Accelerator at Lewis and Faye Manderson Cancer Center Brings Enhanced Precision

Radiation oncologists Dr. John Crew (L) and Dr. Curtis Tucker talk with radiation therapist Allison Traweek about the features of the new TrueBeam linear accelerator. Radiation oncologists Dr. John Crew (L) and Dr. Curtis Tucker talk with radiation therapist Allison Traweek about the features of the new TrueBeam linear accelerator. DCH Health Systems

The Lewis and Faye Manderson Cancer Center is treating cancer patients using a new TrueBeam system from Varian Medical Systems.

This innovative technology enhances the functionality of previous linear accelerators with the delivery of highly precise, sophisticated image-guided radiotherapy in the treatment of cancer. 

The TrueBeam system incorporates “intelligent” automation and high-dose delivery rates that help reduce treatment time. In many cases, patients can be in and out of the cancer center in as little as 20 minutes per day over a course of treatment. Simple treatments that once took 15 minutes or more once the patient was positioned for treatment can be completed in less than two.

“These are significant reductions in treatment time,” said Dr. John Crew, a radiation oncologist at the Manderson Cancer Center. “Patients spend a whole lot less time lying immobilized and holding still on a hard surface.”

The system’s pinpoint precision also reduces the chance of tumor motion during treatment, which protects healthy tissue and critical organs.

“We can monitor and compensate for tumor motion, and that further increases treatment accuracy,” Dr. Crew said. 

TrueBeam can be used for many forms of advanced treatments such as image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT), including intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), RapidArc® radiotherapy technology and Gated RapidArc. Radiotherapy uses lower doses or smaller fractions of the total prescribed radiation over a longer period of time.

“Each of these approaches is appropriate for a certain type of clinical situation,” said Dr. Crew. “With TrueBeam, we can choose the optimal approach for each of our patients.”

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