News 14 TV from Raleigh, North Carolina reports that M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Orlando is the only center in the US that uses a new radiation therapy designed to treat cancer. The treatment in question is helical tomotherapy by TomoTherapy, Inc., as reported in M.D. Anderson’s press release.
The company explains the tomotherapy concept:
The TomoTherapy Hi.Art System® is a new way to deliver radiation treatment for cancer. It delivers a very sophisticated form of IMRT, or intensity modulated radiotherapy, and integrates treatment planning, patient positioning, and treatment delivery in one system.
A more promising device for IMRT is called a multileaf collimator, or MLC, which is a device that is attached to the linear accelerator. An MLC is made of many individual fingers or leaves, which move across the beam in a specified pattern to block or allow the passage of radiation, shaping the beam as it is emitted.
Like conventional radiotherapy, conventional IMRT is usually delivered from several different directions (usually 5 to 9, although sometimes as many as 13). The greater the number of beam directions, the more the high dose will be confined to the tumor, and the less chance for debilitating side effects. But conventional IMRT requires a lengthy and complicated setup process for each treatment fraction, and more beam directions requires more time for each treatment fraction.
The TomoTherapy Hi.Art System® takes IMRT one step further, combining a very sophisticated MLC with a unique helical delivery pattern in order to deliver precise radiation at the target. Instead of delivering radiation from just a few directions, the TomoTherapy Hi.Art System® delivers radiation from every point on the helix – in about the same amount of time as conventional IMRT.
The system has been FDA 510K cleared.
Further details, info (including an extensive section for clinicians) and videos can be found at TomoTherapy…