The University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center has announced that they are implementing RayStation® to customize radiation therapy for cancer patients over the course of their treatment. The system will allow doctors to fine-tune the radiation dose and make other adjustments to the treatment plan as patients experience changes such as tumor shrinkage and/or weight loss.
“We are taking a step forward toward more customized radiation treatments with this capability of performing adaptive, or ‘personalized’ radiotherapy,” says William F. Regine, M.D., the Isadore & Fannie Schneider Foxman Professor and Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and chief of radiation oncology at the University of Maryland Medical Center. “This new planning system gives us the ability to make adjustments to the initial treatment plan and tailor the treatment to the individual patient based on tumor or anatomical changes.”
Cancer patients who are treated with radiation typically receive treatments five days a week, for five to seven weeks. With most planning systems, making adjustments and determining the effect of these adjustments during the actual treatment regimen can require complex, labor-intensive computations that can interrupt or delay therapy. “This system provides us with a solution that avoids any such interruption or delay for the patient”, Dr. Regine adds.
The challenge for radiation oncologists is to provide the optimum dose of radiation to the tumor while minimizing the dose to sensitive tissues and organs in the body. Certain organs, such as the spinal cord and heart, are more sensitive to radiation exposure than others. Traditional treatment planning systems require a repetitive process of planning, evaluating and modifying treatment before a patient’s therapy begins. Doctors prescribe the optimal dose to attack the tumor, and dosimetrists translate that into a treatment plan, while trying to minimize the dose to other nearby organs as much as possible. If physicians see that a sensitive organ may receive too much radiation, they must modify the treatment plan to further minimize dose to that area. With current treatment planning systems, this process can become prohibitively complex.
The RayStation® system employs what is known as “multi-criteria optimization,” allowing experts to more easily use computer controls to visualize in real time the effect that any slight adjustment of dose to one organ has on all the critical nearby structures. “This technology allows us to prioritize, in real time, adjustments of dose reduction for surrounding healthy tissue or organs,” Dr. Regine says.
E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., vice president for medical affairs at the University of Maryland and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, says: “The radiation oncologists at the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center are recognized not only for their research and innovation but also for the precision with which they deliver radiation therapy to patients. With advances in technology, they are able to more directly target the tumor while sparing normal, healthy tissue.”
The new system will be in full operation this spring at the Greenebaum Cancer Center and later in the year at several other hospitals in the University of Maryland Medical System.
“We are of course delighted that the State of Maryland’s largest academic medical system has selected RayStation® to implement these state-of-the-art techniques. We are looking forward to work closely with them to help them ensure that their patients receive treatments of the highest standard”, says Johan Löf, CEO of RaySearch.
To view the full announcement from the University of Maryland Medical Center online, please see http://www.umgcc.org/news/raystation.htm
RayStation® integrates all RaySearch’s advanced treatment planning solutions into a flexible treatment planning system. It combines unique features such as multi-criteria optimization tools with full support for 4D adaptive radiation therapy. It also includes functionality such as RaySearch’s market-leading algorithms for IMRT and VMAT optimization and highly accurate dose engines for photon, electron and proton therapy. The system is built on the latest software architecture and has a graphical user interface offering state-of-the-art usability.
RaySearch Laboratories is a medical technology company that develops advanced software solutions for improved radiation therapy of cancer. RaySearch’s products are mainly sold through license agreements with leading partners such as Philips, Nucletron, IBA Dosimetry, Varian and Accuray. To date, 15 products have been launched through partners and RaySearch’s software is used at over 2,000 clinics in more than 30 countries. In addition, RaySearch offers the proprietary treatment planning system RayStation® directly to clinics. RaySearch was founded in 2000 as a spin-off from Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and the company is listed in the Small Cap segment on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm.
For more information about RaySearch, visit www.raysearchlabs.com
For further information, please contact:
Johan Löf, President and CEO, RaySearch Laboratories AB
Telephone: +46 (0)8-545 061 30