Thanks to the generous support and contributions of our community, Shore Cancer Center’s Radiation Oncology team is now able to treat patients with the TrueBeam® system, one of the most advanced technologies in radiation therapy. TrueBeam is an advanced medical linear accelerator that uses photon or electron beams to target cancerous tumors precisely and accurately. It has built-in imaging capabilities to pinpoint the location of a tumor, guiding the system to deliver treatment accurately.
Dr. John Wilson, Penn Medicine Radiation Oncologist who treats patients at Shore Cancer Center, says, “We are proud to have one of the most advanced treatment planning systems in South Jersey. We have used the new TrueBeam linear accelerator to treat many cancers, including prostate, breast, lung, skin, esophagus, head & neck, brain, lymphoma, pancreas, vulva, and uterus.”
Experts at Shore Cancer Center, a member of the Penn Cancer Network, began treating patients with the new TrueBeam® system in April 2022. Over the past 16 months, this technological addition to Shore Cancer Center’s Radiation Oncology treatment program has had a tremendous impact on patient care.
Varian’s TrueBeam system can be used to deliver many forms of radiotherapy treatment, including image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT), intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) i.e., RapidArc® radiotherapy, stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), and stereotactic body radiotherapy (SRBT). These different treatment modalities provide clinicians with the versatility to tailor each patient’s radiotherapy treatments with remarkable precision, using the most appropriate approach for each individual case.
“The addition of the TrueBeam system has improved patient care because of its precision, speed and motion compensation made possible by the machine’s ability to deliver intensity-modulated radiotherapy treatment with VMAT,” said Dr. Wilson. This allows for better dosage, and the patient spends less time on the treatment table.”
“In the past, patients would receive their treatment from one angle, and then we had to stop treatment and adjust the angle of the machine, sometimes using up to seven different angles. This caused the patient to be less comfortable and to be under treatment for a much longer time. With the VMAT feature of the TrueBeam system treatment can be given while the machine is moving, therefore a treatment that used to take 15 minutes now takes less than five.”
The TrueBeam system also delivers treatments with pinpoint accuracy. The system automatically synchronizes imaging, beam shaping and dose delivery, performing internal accuracy checks every ten milliseconds throughout the entire treatment. This technology from Varian Medical Systems was engineered to deliver high doses with tremendous accuracy, narrowly targeting tumors and minimizing exposure of the surrounding healthy tissues and organs.
“The accuracy of our machine is incredible,” said Dr. Wilson. “We can target areas of cancer while sparing nearby organs.”
The TrueBeam system’s technology makes it possible to deliver fast, accurate image-guided treatments in just a few minutes a day. Before and during treatment, the TrueBeam imager can generate high-quality 3-D images of the tumor and surrounding anatomy; we can now do this 60% faster than was possible with previous generations of Varian imaging technology. Images used to fine-tune a patient’s position prior to and during the treatment process now can be generated using 25% less X-ray dose.
“The imaging provided by the TrueBeam system has a very high resolution, and these images are crucial to be seen during the treatment process,” adds Dr. Wilson. “From a physician standpoint, having this technology is so important in our ability to deliver the highest level of care and the best possible patient experience.”