CT on Rails Improves Radiation Accuracy
Radiation therapy has long been a staple of cancer treatment. While radiation is a highly effective means of destroying cancer cells, it can also destroy healthy tissue. New technology acquired by Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin helps radiation oncologists and therapists accurately target tumors just moments before radiation.
Called CT on rails, the new system pairs the radiation machine with a CT scanner. After patients are securely positioned on the treatment table, the table is rotated 180 degrees. A CT scanner slides over the patient, quickly taking images that are transferred to a computer system. The real-time images are then compared with CT scans taken during treatment planning.
“With CT on rails, we can look at patient’s internal anatomy to be sure we are delivering the radiation exactly where we want it to go,” said Elizabeth Gore, MD, Medical College of Wisconsin radiation oncologist.
“CT on rails ultimately allows physicians to prescribe higher doses of radiation. Because we’re so precise, we’re not harming critical structures around the tumor,” said John Koenig, director of Radiation Oncology at Froedtert & the Medical College. “That leads to better outcomes in terms of reduced side effects.”
While CT on rails can be used to treat most cancers, it’s particularly useful for challenging cancers in hard-to-treat locations, including brain, head and neck, lung and prostate cancers. CT on rails may also be used to treat patients who have previously had radiation therapy.
Source: Froedtert Today
Date: March 2007