TomoTherapy Incorporated announced today that the University of Kentucky (UK) Chandler Medical Center’s Markey Cancer Center has commenced treating patients with the TomoTherapy® Hi·Art® treatment system, a versatile, CT scanner-based device, which integrates image guidance for increased treatment accuracy and helical radiation therapy delivery for enhanced tumor targeting. The Hi·Art treatment system was selected after a thorough review of technologies and will be extensively utilized in the Markey Cancer Center’s stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) efforts, as part of its new Brain and Body Radiosurgery Program.
Marcus E. Randall, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Radiation Medicine at the UK College of Medicine, serves as director of the Brain and Body Radiosurgery Program. According to Dr. Randall, TomoTherapy technology was a natural choice.
Dr. Randall said, We were looking for a platform that would permit exceptionally accurate treatments while allowing for reasonable throughput of patients. We considered all our options, including RapidArc™ and Cyberknife®, but we felt that the dose distributions from TomoTherapy were consistently superior to other platforms. The ability to do imaging at the time of treatment was also a unique advantage, so the decision actually became pretty simple.
SBRT: A New Focus in Cancer Care
SBRT is a noninvasive technique that precisely delivers high doses of radiation to a tumor, while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissues. In addition to growing evidence that this technique may be radiobiologically more effective for certain types of cancer cases, SBRT offers cancer centers the ability to treat more patients over a shorter, more convenient treatment schedule, requiring five or fewer treatments. Traditional radiation therapy, because a lower dose of radiation is delivered in each session, can require 20-40 treatments over a four to eight week period.
Ronald McGarry, M.D., Ph.D., clinical associate professor and vice chair of the Department of Radiation Medicine at the UK College of Medicine, helped pioneer SBRT as a technique and has many years of experience with this advanced treatment approach. He believes the TomoTherapy platform offers specific advantages for cancer patients, including: the ability to reduce treatment times; track treatment progress via daily CT imaging and adapt the plan, if necessary; and potentially reduce treatment toxicity when critical organs are at risk.
“The biggest gain to our department is the conformal radiation plans that helical intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) allows us to do,” said Dr. McGarry. “We will also be pursuing adaptive radiation therapy using the CT guidance of TomoTherapy. Certainly, this is an advantage of the platform. For SBRT use, our main targets of interest for Tomo® will be spine, liver and prostate. Spine and prostate will be the subject of clinical trials in our department, and we are opening a spinal SBRT protocol which will largely be carried out using TomoTherapy technology.”
First TomoTherapy Hi·Art Treatment System in Lexington
The TomoTherapy Hi·Art treatment system at Markey Cancer Center is the first to be installed in Lexington and the second in the state of Kentucky, which is ranked fourth nationwide in overall cancer incidence and has a significantly higher cancer mortality rate than the national average.
“TomoTherapy is honored to have been chosen to improve cancer patient care in Kentucky,” said Ralph Vaello, vice president of global sales for TomoTherapy Incorporated. “We are pleased to be playing an integral part in the Markey Cancer Center’s newly launched Brain and Body Radiosurgery Program. Endorsement by this program and by Dr. Randall and Dr. McGarry—pioneers in their field—further validates TomoTherapy as the platform of the future, designed to meet the widest range of advanced radiotherapy needs.”