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Innovative Afterloader System Streamlines Brachytherapy

By Medimaging International staff writers
Posted on 30 Oct 2018
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Image: An afterloader system streamlines brachytherapy treatments (Photo courtesy of Varian).
Image: An afterloader system streamlines brachytherapy treatments (Photo courtesy of Varian).
An integrated afterloader system improves patient experience by simplifying brachytherapy treatment and providing greater workflow efficiency.

The Varian Medical Systems (Varian, Palo Alto, CA, USA) Bravos afterloader system is intended for high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy treatment, which involves temporarily placing a small radioactive source directly into the tumor. When using an afterloader, the source can be positioned in a needle, catheter, or other tumor-specific applicator following an insertion pattern designed to create a highly conformal dose distribution within or on the surface of the patient's anatomy. Once treatment is completed, the afterloader safely retrieves the radioactive source.

To simplify this process, the Bravos afterloader features a touch screen control that provides easy access to patient treatment data, eliminating the need for the radiology technician to leave the room in order to retrieve patient and treatment information. To facilitate execution, light emitting diode (LED) green, red, and yellow lights guide clinicians instinctively through the connection process of the transfer guide tubes. The green lights signal a proper connection, while the yellow and red lights warn that there are areas in need of correction.

To help increase efficiency of the treatment process, Bravos also features a customizable pre-treatment checklist on the touchscreen. Like surgical procedures, the customizable checklist allows the clinician to set a review process, including a time-out for patient safety, and e-signatures for speed and accuracy. The Bravos afterloader system, which has been received both U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Union CE marking, integrates with Varian's BrachyVision for treatment planning, and also offers interoperability with the Varian ARIA oncology information system.

“After spending time in clinics around the world talking with the treatment teams, we saw the opportunity to create a system that is easy to use and creates greater efficiencies, allowing clinicians to spend more time with the patient,” said Ed Vertatschitsch, vice president of global portfolio solutions at Varian. “Bravos is a big step forward for brachytherapy treatments, and we will continue to collaborate with our partners in achieving new victories against cancer.”

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