Study indicates potential for dramatic reduction in TomoTherapy Treatment Time


TomoTherapy Incorporated announced that a research study published in the November 11, 2009 International Journal of Radiation Oncology * Biology * Physics—commonly known as the Red Journal—indicated that TomoTherapySM treatment times could be reduced by up to 66 percent using advanced radiation delivery techniques. In addition, these techniques were able to improve plan quality by further minimizing the amount of radiation normal tissue received.

The study, entitled “Dynamic Jaws and Dynamic Couch in Helical TomoTherapy,” was led by Dr. Florian Sterzing of the Department of Radiation Oncology at University Clinic Heidelberg to explore the benefits of the Advanced TomoTherapy Delivery Technique. This delivery technique would rely on a dynamic collimator that can automatically adjust the size of the radiation beam to optimize dosage at the target and spare surrounding healthy tissue. Another key component would be a patient couch that can be designed to accelerate treatment time by moving faster between target tumors or in those areas that do not require high doses of radiation. The University Clinic Heidelberg study concluded that with the combination of these two research advancements, they were able to develop treatment plans that indicated significantly shortened treatment times and improved quality of the treatment plan.

“Our experience treating patients with TomoTherapy led us to believe that the techniques we explored in our research could result in more accurate and faster treatments,” said Dr. Sterzing. “While we limited our study to nasopharyngeal cancer applications, we believe that these techniques also would have great value in treating cancers throughout the body, particularly cancers of the prostate and those involving multiple metastases.”

New TomoHD™ Treatment System Equipped to Accommodate Advanced Delivery Technique

“At the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) earlier this month, we debuted the TomoHD treatment system and demonstrated how the Advanced TomoTherapy Delivery Technique could be used in conjunction with this new treatment system,” said Fred Robertson, M.D., TomoTherapy’s president and CEO. “We believe the combination of the multipurpose platform along with the Advanced Delivery Technique being explored at University Clinic Heidelberg will allow TomoTherapy to continue to advance patient care. These innovations will improve upon our unique form of beam delivery, already widely considered to be the gold standard.”

The TomoHD treatment system will be commercially available in the second half of 2010 and has been designed to support the Advanced TomoTherapy Delivery Technique. The Advanced TomoTherapy Delivery Technique is currently a work-in-progress and is not available for sale.

University Clinic Heidelberg is a research partner of TomoTherapy Incorporated. Representatives of TomoTherapy are co-authors on the study noted above.