Campus News

July 8, 2011

Take Note

Cancer radiation therapy will be faster, more precise

One of the fastest and most accurate radiotherapy treatment systems available will soon be in use for cancer patients at Emory's Department of Radiation Oncology.

The TrueBeam radiation therapy system, built by Varian Medical Systems, is engineered to allow for greater precision and faster imaging at lower radiation doses. The system has reduced treatment times from 15 minutes to less than two minutes. It also improves precision and increases greater patient comfort by shortening treatments.

"This is a breakthrough that allows us to bring a wider spectrum of advanced radiotherapy treatment options to more patients," says Ian Crocker, professor and vice chairman of Emory's Department of Radiation Oncology. "This technology opens the door to new possibilities for the treatment of challenging cases such as cancers in the lung, breast, abdomen and head and neck as well as other cancers that are treatable with radiotherapy."

Real-time imaging tools allow clinicians to "see" the tumor they are about to treat. Precision is measured in increments of less than a millimeter and accuracy checks are performed every ten milliseconds throughout the treatment.

The radiation oncologists are members of Emory's Winship Cancer Institute, Georgia's first and only NCI-designated cancer center.

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