Innovative solutions for radiation therapy Siemens at ESTRO 2011

Siemens Healthcare presented its diverse radiation therapy solutions at this year’s conference of the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ESTRO). The innovations are aimed at assisting clinicians in treating tumors with greater precision. Intelligent software and imaging ensure that radiation planning, reviewing the treatment plan, any necessary replanning and radiation therapy take place with greater efficiency than
before. Multiple-X, a feature with which radiation times can be shortened, is a particular highlight at ESTRO 2011 in London. With In-Line kView Imaging, Siemens is also presenting an imaging method in which a treatment beam optimized for imaging is used to image a tumor to enable a repeated check of its location before radiation treatment.

The highlights at ESTRO 2011

Multiple-X: high dose rate speeds up stereotactic radiation therapy For its Artiste linear accelerator, Siemens Healthcare has developed the new Multiple-X feature with which, among other things, stereotactic radiation therapy can be significantly speeded up. Stereotaxy is a highly precisely guided radiation treatment in which very high doses are applied to a tumor in one or more radiation sessions, so-called fractions.

At present, patients undergoing stereotactic radiation spend up to 60 minutes on the treatment table. The usual radiation dose rate in monitor units (MU) is between 50 and 500 per minute. With Multiple-X, Artiste enables a dose rate of up to 2,000 MU per minute. This high dose rate boosts the efficiency of radiation and can shorten treatment time by up to 80 percent.

Different intensities of energy are necessary for radiation therapy depending on the position and type of the tumor. Multiple-X provides four different types of beam without flattening filters (flattening filter free beams, FFFB): 7 MV (megavolts), 11 MV, 15 MV and 17 MV. These can be combined with one flat energy. This enables further application options such as Intensity- Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), 3D-Conformal Radiotherapy (CRT) and stereotactic radiation therapies.

In-Line kView – innovative imaging for radiation therapy

For Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT), Siemens offers In-Line kView, an innovative imaging method. A treatment beam optimized for imaging is used on the accelerator to record 2D and 3D images of a tumor and surrounding tissue. The image quality achieved is comparable to that of Xray images, but requires a smaller dose than the MV imaging process commonly used in radiation therapy.

Assisted by intelligent software applications, the clinician compares the image recorded by In-Line kView with the computer tomography image from the planning phase to adjust positioning of the patient before treatment should the tumor have shifted or the patient be in the wrong position.

In-Line kView also allows selection of the imaging quality depending on the dose rate, thus supporting dose management for the patient.

Modular, flexible, expandable: the Artiste linear accelerator from Siemens The Artiste linear accelerator provides a broad portfolio of software and hardware tools for fast and precise conventional radiation therapy. In particular, these include IGRT, ART (Adaptive Radiation Therapy), IMRT and SRT (stereotaxy).

160 computer-controlled tungsten leaves continuously adapt the radiation to the tumor’s contours. The multileaf collimator 160 MLC, a standard component of Artiste, combines fast leaf movement of 4 cm per second with high resolution and low radiation leakage. High accuracy in positioning of the leaves and an abrupt drop in the dose in the penumbra enable radiation therapy of high precision while simultaneously protecting healthy surrounding tissue.

The Siemens Healthcare Sector is one of the world’s largest healthcare solution providers and a leading manufacturer and service provider in the fields of medical imaging, laboratory diagnostics, hospital information technology and hearing instruments. It offers solutions covering the entire supply chain under one roof – from prevention and early detection to diagnosis and on to treatment and aftercare. By optimizing clinical workflows oriented toward the most important clinical pictures, Siemens also strives to make healthcare faster, better and, at the same time, less expensive. Siemens Healthcare currently has some 48,000 employees worldwide and is present throughout the world. During fiscal 2010 (up to September 30) the Sector posted sales worth 12.4 billion euros and profits of around 750 million euros.