Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia: Adapting to Changes in the Target | Varian

Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia: Adapting to Changes in the Target

Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia: Adapting to Changes in the Target

The Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney, Australia, deployed its Ethos™ therapy system about a year ago.  Royal North Shore is a small, state-funded facility that treats about 1,500 cancer patients a year and its head of medical physics, Assistant Professor Jeremy Booth, was keen to offer adaptive treatment to patients.

“We see a lot of prostate and cervical cancer patients who show changes in the target shape, size, or position each day and we knew we could treat them a lot better with adaptive,” Booth said. “Having the tools that Ethos provides, especially the automation and the artificial intelligence, really simplifies the process.  We believe we’re offering patients the best treatment every time.”

Booth and his team have developed processes to use the system for treating palliative patients who are often in pain.

“Palliative patients can be treated using their diagnostic CT scans with adaptive on-couch planning and can come straight in and have their treatment rather than return the next day, giving them some immediate relief from their pain,” Booth said. “That’s been a big focus.  We’re also looking at adaptive workflows for treating the cervix and prostate bed, where we see great benefit.”

Booth anticipates that, as the hospital performs more regular adaptive treatments, patient throughput may improve through greater confidence in the higher accuracy of adaptive treatments and greater use of hypofractionation. The clinical team has assessed intra-treatment anatomical change and implemented strategies to minimize and streamline Ethos operation.  They are currently involved in several trials studying shorter fractionation schedules to increase patient access to adaptive treatment.

“We’re involved in three trials at the moment, all around adaptive treatment that helps shrink margins and improves patient comfort and workflows,” he said. “The enclosed gantry and more spacious Ethos therapy machine give the patient a superior experience, and we think that if the patient is more comfortable and relaxed during the process, we can deliver a more accurate treatment.”

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