Brazilian Hospital Upgrades Cancer Management Capabilities with Elekta SolutionsSAO PAULO, Brazil
Barretos Cancer Hospital acquires Elekta therapy and planning systems and is first Latin American center to acquire Clarity soft tissue visualization software
Among the largest public hospitals in Brazil, Barretos Cancer Hospital made a major commitment to the healthcare of the country’s citizens by acquiring a range of advanced Elekta cancer management solutions. The technology includes Elekta Synergy® Platform, Monaco® and XiO® treatment planning systems and Clarity® 3D ultrasound-assisted image guided radiation therapy (IGRT). The Elekta products were delivered in August 2012.
“As a teaching hospital, it was important for us to broaden our range of cancer treatment systems beyond our existing equipment – to enable us to evaluate how Elekta’s solutions might improve the provision of healthcare,” says Rodrigo Gadia, M.D., Head of the Department of Radiotherapy. “In Brazil, this is critical, as access to advanced treatment technology is limited. In particular, we hope that use of Elekta Synergy Platform – once it is upgraded with IGRT capabilities – may represent a practical demonstration of a good cost-benefit ratio for the use of IGRT in Brazil.”
The influx of advanced radiation therapy technology is critical in Brazil, a country of 200 million inhabitants. According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer is the second leading cause of death in Brazil, with lung, prostate and stomach cancers representing the highest cancer mortality rates among males. Cancer mortality rates for Brazilian females are highest in breast, cervical and lung cancers.
Platform for launching IGRT
Elekta Synergy Platform is designed to enable simple integration of the key imaging technologies that will transform an advanced linear accelerator into an IGRT system. This upgrade allows clinicians to bring image guidance into the treatment set up process – with the patient in the treatment position and just moments before therapy. The integrated imaging workflow in Elekta Synergy has enabled clinicians, on a daily basis, to correct patient setup errors due to organ motion and increase treatment accuracy. Imaging tools include 3D volumetric cone beam imaging for soft tissue visualization; 2D real-time, fluoroscopic-like imaging for targets that move frequently; and 2D kV imaging for standard planar imaging.
Barretos plans to use its Elekta Synergy Platform to treat many of its patients employing Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT), in which the treatment beam travels in single or multiple high-speed arcs around the patient, significantly reducing beam delivery time.
“VMAT will enable us to reduce the time the patient spends on the treatment table by several minutes,” he says.
Barretos Cancer Hospital also will immediately be able to exploit the benefits of Elekta treatment planning solutions. Monaco brings a fundamentally new approach to planning, featuring innovative biological cost functions with multi-criterial constrained optimization, a powerful leaf sequence optimizer and the Monte Carlo dose calculation algorithm. XiO is a comprehensive 3D IMRT treatment planning platform that combines the latest tools and dose calculation algorithms.
“Monaco and XiO are very sophisticated planning solutions that we predict will streamline plan development, while also ensuring the best possible clinical results for our patients,” Dr. Gadia says.
Clarity 3D ultrasound benefits
Barretos will use its two Clarity systems – the first in Latin America – to provide image guidance for soft tissue targets. The center also intends to pursue clinical studies on the planning benefits of integrating 3D ultrasound with CT based planning. This work will help explore the local applicability of a relatively low-cost imaging modality that could be retrofitted on existing equipment in the region.
“Clarity will be another way to obtain fast, accurate soft tissue IGRT that we can integrate with any of our linear accelerators, with the added benefit of non-invasiveness,” he says.