At Cancer Care Northwest, we offer Linear Accelerators equipped with the most advanced tools to deliver accurate and precise treatments. The system’s patented technology provides superior conformance to tumor size, shape and volume, allowing clinicians within The Alliance to administer higher dose rates that can enhance treatment effectiveness, while protecting critical structures such as the heart, spine, or bladder. The result is highly precise treatments with shorter treatment times, and the ability to offer highly advanced therapies with minimized impact of treatment on our patients’ quality of life. Some of the technologies available on these new machines are listed below.
- HexaPOD™ robotic positioning system: This computer controlled robotic treatment couchtop can adjust the position in any direction or angle. This means that the treatments can be delivered with sub-millimeter accuracy by correcting for any position or rotation misalignments detected by the advanced imaging systems. This system also allows for fast and automated patient set-up, meaning it delivers highly accurate treatments in shorter times.
- High Dose Rate mode with flattening filter beam technology:These features allow treatments to be delivered with treatment times more than 3 times faster previous generations of machines. With this feature, highly sophisticated treatments can be delivered without a prolonged delivery of radiotherapy.
- Agility™ multi-leaf collimator: This is an advanced beam shaping device. It can exquisitely shape the beam as the machine moves around the patient in all directions. The beam shaping leaves move at revolutionary speeds, more than twice the speed of other systems. Not only are the leaves faster than others in the industry, they also have extremely low leaf leakage (<0.5%), meaning less dose to areas outside the target. This ultra-fast beam shaping technology combined with the High Dose Rate mode allows for the most advanced delivery of focal radiation with rapid falloff from the target.
- Monaco® treatment planning with Monte Carlo dose calculations: Monte Carlo dose calculations are the gold standard for calculating radiation dose. Other systems can only use Monte Carlo for basic radiation treatments, but the Monaco system can calculate with true Monte Carlo accuracy even with the most advanced radiation techniques. This tool allows doctors have confidence that what the computer is doing is what is actually happening to the patient.
- Advanced image guided radiotherapy and motion management products (XVI advanced imaging, Clarity® 4D ultrasound monitoring, Active Breathing Coordinator™ system): The new machines are able to verify the dose placement accurately with multiple different options for image guidance (X-ray, cone-beam-CT and ultrasound). This means they can verify the position of dose before treatment, and monitor the position during the delivery of the radiation dose (intra-fraction monitoring). These tools can be especially important for tumors receiving high doses in only a few treatments with tight margins, for treating tumors that move, or for staying away from critical adjacent organs like the heart during treatment for breast cancer.
- Elekta's digital control system: One feature of the new machines is that they are on a digital control system that audits and safely orchestrates the treatments. This advanced treatment monitoring stystem allows the highest safety in delivering radiation treatments.
There is not one tool in modern radiation that fits every situation. But, with the advanced technologies being implemented, patients can come to The Alliance with confidence that their doctors have all the tools to treat any situation needed for their cancer.