James Beck Cancer Center on the Forefront of Cancer Treatment with the TrueBeam Radiotherapy System

New technology enables a radical new approach that expands radiotherapy treatment options for even the most challenging cases.

(RHINELANDER, WI) – In a promising development for cancer patients in the Northwoods, James Beck Cancer Center (JBCC) in Rhinelander announced that it has acquired the TrueBeam system, an innovative system that enables a radically different approach to treating cancer with image-guided radiotherapy.

The TrueBeam system, from Varian Medical Systems, was engineered from the ground up to deliver more powerful cancer treatments with pinpoint accuracy and precision. It uniquely integrates new imaging and motion management technologies within a sophisticated new architecture that makes it possible to deliver treatments more quickly while monitoring and compensating for tumor motion, opening the door to new possibilities for the treatment of lung, breast, prostate, head and neck, as well as other cancers that are treatable with radiotherapy. It will be operational in November, 2013 at the James Beck Cancer Center. 

“The TrueBeam system allows for increased accuracy and outcome of all treatments in every anatomical location,” said Peter Heiberger, M.S., medical physicist, James Beck Cancer Center. “With the utilization of image-guided positioning, dynamic dose modulation and faster treatment times, this state-of-the-art equipment creates a wide range of sophisticated treatment possibilities. This investment in technology at JBCC is an investment in our patients and community.”

Faster Treatments
With dose delivery rates that are 40–140 percent higher than earlier generations of Varian technology, the TrueBeam system can complete a treatment commensurately faster. This makes it possible to offer greater patient comfort by shortening treatments, and to improve precision by leaving less time for tumor motion during dose delivery. “Intelligent” automation further speeds treatments with an up to fivefold reduction in the number of steps needed for image guidance and dose delivery. 

Simple treatments that once took 15 minutes or more can be completed in less than two minutes once the patient is in position. “Due to the increased accuracy and decreased treatment times, patient comfort is maximized by decreasing the amount of time the patient needs to lay motionless on a hard surface,” added Heiberger. “Every patient appreciates a shorter treatment time.”

Enhanced Precision
The precision of the TrueBeam system is measured in increments of less than a millimeter. This accuracy is made possible by the system’s sophisticated architecture, which synchronizes imaging, patient positioning, motion management, beam shaping and dose delivery, performing accuracy checks every ten milliseconds throughout the entire treatment. Critical data points are measured continually as a treatment progresses, ensuring that the system maintains a “true isocenter,” or focal point of treatment.

Faster Imaging at Lower Doses
TrueBeam imaging technology can produce the three-dimensional images used to fine-tune tumor targeting in 60% less time. Additional functionality makes it possible to create images using 25% less X-ray dose. “Imaging is the cornerstone to all radiotherapy. Without imaging, it would be impossible to deliver such accurate and effective treatments,” explained Heiberger. “The TrueBeam allows us to maximize our imaging effectiveness while minimizing the exposure to the patient.”

TrueBeam can be used for radiotherapy treatments including image-guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery (IGRT and IGRS), intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), RapidArc® radiotherapy and gated RapidArc.  “Depending on the location and biology of the tumor, the TrueBeam allows us the capability to apply different methodology and technique for the most effective treatment of each individual patient,” said Heiberger. “These technological advancements have created the new standard for radiation therapy, and we’re excited to bring the TrueBeam to Rhinelander.”

The James Beck Cancer Center at Ministry Saint Mary's Hospital nurtures long, close relationships and ongoing care with cancer patients, whether in the form of future treatments, palliative care, rehabilitation, checkups, support groups or providing new information. The goal is to meet every need of every patient, and to be a trusted resource for their families.

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