Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC
Ampronix
Schiller

First Image-Guided Radiotherapy School in Australia to Teach Advanced Radiotherapy Techniques

By Medimaging International staff writers
Posted on 02 Mar 2010
An Australian hospital has become a teaching facility for image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT).

The radiation oncology department at Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH; Sydney, NSW, Australia) has become the first in Australia to be formally accredited by Varian Medical Systems (Palo Alto, CA, USA), a world leader in radiotherapy technology. The hospital will hold four IGRT courses in 2010, and there are plans to extend this accreditation to other advanced techniques such as intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and RapidArc in the future.

"The advanced radiotherapy that we use in our department combines computer-controlled technology with imaging equipment to deliver intensity-modulated radiotherapy and image-guided radiotherapy,” said associate professor Michael Back, director of radiation oncology at the hospital's Northern Sydney Cancer Centre. "These techniques enable the radiation therapists to image and precisely target the patient's tumor each day to within an accuracy level previously unheard of in conventional radiotherapy.”

Prof. Back reported that the signing of the contract with Varian to provide other radiation oncology departments with training in such techniques is a great step towards improving the precision and quality of radiotherapy departments using this equipment across Australasia. "Using these techniques we are able to minimize exposure to the salivary glands in head and neck tumor patients or exposure to the rectum in prostate cancer patients,” added Prof. Back. "As we are able to deliver higher doses of radiation while reducing exposure to healthy tissue, we also have a better chance of controlling the tumor and improving the outcome for patients.”

Prof. Back's team of radiation oncologists, radiation therapists, and medical physicists has been teaching these techniques to clinicians from other hospitals on an unofficial basis since 2007. "Now that the agreement with Varian Medical Systems has been formalized, the department will be able to provide far more support and instruction to other radiotherapy departments across New South Wales and the rest of Australia,” added Prof Back. "In time, this will mean that more Australian cancer patients will benefit from this improved therapy.”

Chris Cowley, managing director of Varian Medial Systems Australasia, said "Royal North Shore Hospital is one of the world's leading radiotherapy institutions, and Varian is pleased to formalize this arrangement with the radiation oncology department. "The department has been using our advanced radiotherapy equipment for several years and its use to treat patients is now standard practice at RNSH. I hope Professor Back and his team can use this valuable experience to help other radiotherapy departments benefit from these radiotherapy techniques.”

IGRT can improve the quality of all forms of radiotherapy. "Techniques like intensity-modulated radiation therapy have enabled clinicians to shape the radiation beam so it conforms to the tumor being treated, whereas IGRT makes it easier to know exactly where to aim the beams,” added Mr. Cowley.

Prior to the advent of IGRT, radiation oncologists had to contend with variations in patient positioning and with respiratory motion by treating a larger margin of healthy tissue around the tumor. IGRT enables clinicians to minimize further the volume of healthy tissue exposed to the treatment beam. Potentially, image data from IGRT tools such as Varian's On-Board Imager device will be used to assess changes in tumor size and shape over a course of treatment, and make real-time adaptations to the treatment plan.

Varian Medical Systems, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of medical devices and software for treating cancer and other medical conditions with radiotherapy, radiosurgery, proton therapy, and brachytherapy. The company supplies informatics software for managing comprehensive cancer clinics, radiotherapy centers, and medical oncology practices. Varian is a premier supplier of tubes and digital detectors for x-ray imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications and also supplies X-ray imaging products for cargo screening and industrial inspection.

Related Links:
Royal North Shore Hospital
Varian Medical Systems


Channels

MRI

view channel
Image: Using an MRI technique that is sensitive to certain byproducts of cell metabolism, including levels of glucose and acidity, University of Iowa researchers discovered previously unrecognized differences in the brains of patients with bipolar disorder. The T1rho MRI scans showed brain regions of elevated signal in the 15 participants with bipolar disorder compared to the 25 participants who did not have bipolar disorder. The primary regions of difference are the cerebral white matter (yellow) and the cerebellum (red) (Photo courtesy of the University of Iowa).

Quantitative, High-Resolution T1 Rho MRI Mapping Scan Reveals Brain Differences in Bipolar Disorder

Using a different sort of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology, researchers have discovered previously unrecognized differences in the brains of patients with bipolar disorder. In particular, the... Read more

Ultrasound

view channel

Guidelines Released for Quantitative Monitoring of Critically Ill and Surgery Patients Using Echocardiography

The American Society of Echocardiography (ASE; Morrisville, NC, USA) has published clinical guidelines describing how and when echocardiography can be used for medical and surgical therapy in adult patients. The guidelines were published in the January 2015 issue of the American Society of Echocardiography.... Read more

Nuclear medicine

view channel
Image: Created by averaging PET scan data from chronic pain patients (left) and healthy controls (right), the images reveal higher levels of inflammation-associated translocator protein (orange/red) in the thalamus and other brain regions of chronic pain patients (Photo courtesy of Marco Loggia, Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital).

PET/MR Imaging Shows First Evidence of Neuroinflammation in Chronic Pain Patients’ Brains

For the first time, researchers have used neuroimaging strategies to find evidence of neuroinflammation in major regions of the brains of patients with chronic pain. By showing that levels of an i... Read more

General/Advanced Imaging

view channel
Image: Dr. Miles was part of the team that helped identify facial measurements in children with autism that may lead to a screening tool for young children and provide clues to its genetic causes (Photo courtesy of Rebecca F. Miller).

Advanced 3D Facial Imaging Designed to Help in Early Identification of Autism

Autism is a range of closely related disorders observed in patients who exhibit a shared assortment of symptoms, including delays in learning to communicate and interrelate socially. Early detection of... Read more

Imaging IT

view channel

Findings Reveal Health Information Exchange Decreases Repeat Imaging

The use of health information exchange (HIE) systems to share reports on imaging tests, such as X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, can help reduce the number of times patients undergo the precisely same test. A new study suggests that HIE technology that gives healthcare providers immediate, electronic access... Read more

Industry News

view channel
Image: 3-D Image of the Mindray DC-70 Ultrsound System (Photo courtesy of Mindray).

Ultrasound Equipment Sector in United States Expected to Grow Through 2020

Ultrasound equipment market in the United States is expected to remain stable and continue to grow, exceeding USD 2 billion by 2020 as revealed in a report by iData Research (Burnaby, BC, Canada).... Read more
 

Events

01 Feb 2015 - 06 Feb 2015
02 Feb 2015 - 06 Feb 2015
Copyright © 2000-2015 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.