MAYWOOD, Ill. - A new radiotherapy system at Loyola University Medical Center will offer cancer patients shorter radiation treatments, with pinpoint accuracy and precision.
The first patients will be treated Aug. 9.
The TrueBeam™ system rotates around the patient to deliver multiple radiation beams from nearly any angle. The beams converge on the tumor, while minimizing damage to healthy tissue. This enhances the ability to destroy tumors with fewer complications.
Patients typically will spend only about 10 minutes on the treatment couch and in some cases will require fewer sessions. The system also is quieter than other devices and patients can listen to music.
"This is the most sophisticated and advanced radiotherapy system in the world," said Bahman Emami, MD, FACR, FASTRO, chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology.
The system can be used on any cancer that is treatable with radiation, including challenging cases such as cancers of the lung, breast, abdomen and head-and-neck. The system is designed from the ground up to perform virtually every advanced function offered by any other system on the market. These capabilities include:
Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT). Frequent imaging during a treatment improves precision and accuracy.
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). Adjusting the intensity of the radiation beam makes the radiation dose conform more precisely to the shape of the tumor. IMRT allows higher radiation doses inside the tumor, while minimizing the dose to surrounding healthy tissue.
Respiratory gating. When a lung cancer patient breathes, the tumor moves with each breath. Tumors of the breast, pancreas and even the prostate also move. Respiratory gating adjusts the radiation beam so that the beam is in synch with the patient's breathing.
Stereotactic radiosurgery. This treatment focuses high-powered X-rays on a small area of the body.
Loyola's Department of Radiation Oncology offers highly trained faculty, staff and state-of-the-art radiation treatment equipment, as well as leading-edge treatment programs and modalities for cancer. Treatments include 3-D conformal radiotherapy, IMRT, IGRT, stereotactic radiosurgery, brachytherapy and total body irradiation.
Loyola is among a handful of centers in Illinois that have earned the rigorous American College of Radiology certification.