ATLANTA, GA — October 6, 2004 — Emory University School of Medicine’s Department of Radiation Oncology has become the first cancer treatment center in the world to use the new Trilogy(tm) system from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR), for treating cancer with image-guided radiosurgery. The Trilogy system is the most powerful and versatile cancer treatment technology available. In addition to delivering conventional forms of radiation therapy, it can be used stereotactically, to treat very small lesions quickly and with unprecedented precision.Emory clinicians report that they used the new Trilogy system to treat four patients with stereotactic radiosurgery during the first week of operation.The first patient treated was a 56-year-old woman, a ten-year survivor of small cell lung cancer, who underwent radiosurgery for two small metastases in the brain.
“Given the favorable long-term outlook of this patient, we were committed to delivering a focal high-dose radiation treatment to eliminate the risk of brain injury from radiation treatment to the whole brain,” said Dr. Ian Crocker, Professor of Radiation Oncology at Emory. Dr. Crocker added, “The Trilogy is twice as accurate as the linear accelerator we previously used for radiosurgery treatments, allowing a reduction in the treatment volume and thereby reducing the risk of complications. But what excites me even more is the ability to use the Trilogy’s on-board imaging system to verify the patient setup immediately prior to treatment. We plan to use this feature in the future to perform radiosurgery in extracranial (body) sites.”
According to Timothy Fox, PhD, chief medical physicist in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Emory, this week’s stereotactic radiosurgery treatments using the Trilogy system took an average of about thirty minutes each.
“This compares very favorably to the amount of time required for this kind of treatment using older neurosurgical devices,” he said. We’re thrilled with Trilogy’s mechanical precision, and coupled with the image-guidance tools, it allows us to proceed with full confidence in treating just about any type of treatable lesion.”
“Trilogy is a state-of-the-art system that will enable us to treat patients with the most advanced radiotherapy techniques, using clinically efficient processes,” said Dr. Lawrence Davis, chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Emory.
“It provides us with more versatility and precision for customizing treatments according to the specifics of each patient’s case.”
At the core of the Trilogy system is Varian’s high-powered medical linear accelerator, a machine that rotates around the patient to deliver radiation treatments from nearly any angle.The system also incorporates a multileaf collimator for shaping the radiation beam to match the three-dimensional shape of the tumor, and Varian’s new On-Board Imager(tm) device for fast, accurate, real-time tumor tracking and automated patient positioning.
Stereotactic Approaches to Treatment
The Trilogy linear accelerator was optimized for stereotactic applications that involve delivering higher doses of radiation to smaller areas over a shorter period of time.
“Better diagnostic tools have made it possible for us to see tumors much earlier, when they’re still very small,” says Scott Johnson, PhD, medical physicist and Trilogy product manager. “Stereotactic approaches are generally most appropriate for small lesions and early metastases, and so are likely to play a much larger role in radiation oncology.”
“Radiation therapy is used today in more than half of all cancer treatments due to its unique clinical advantages, and it is becoming steadily more effective with new technologies that permit ultra-precise dose delivery,” says Dr. Davis. “Using the Trilogy system, we have the potential to substantially improve cancer treatment outcomes by doing a better job of protecting healthy tissue while delivering more powerful doses to the tumor.”
The Trilogy system is on display at the American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) meeting in Atlanta, through this afternoon. Visit Booth 825 at the Georgia World Congress Center.
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