TYLER — The East Texas Medical Center Cancer Institute now offers the most advanced generation of cancer radiotherapy, called TrueBeam. ETMC officials say it provides more noninvasive options for treating complex cases in the lung, liver, prostate, breast, abdomen, head and neck. “The TrueBeam system is faster, more precise and safer than previous generations of radiotherapy,” said Dr. Heidi McKellar, board-certified radiation oncologist and medical director of the ETMC Cancer Institute.
The TrueBeam uses volumetric-modulated arc therapy or VMAT, in which the device rotates around the patient to deliver radiation beams. At the same time, the radiation is computer-synchronized to compensate for the movements of the patient’s breathing, ensuring that the beam reaches only the targeted tumor. “The precision is measured in increments of less than a millimeter and accuracy checks are performed every 10 milliseconds throughout treatment,” said Blas Caroprese, PhD, chief medial physicist for the ETMC Cancer Institute. “This allows us to treat a moving tumor as if it were standing still, and reduce the margin of healthy tissue affected by the treatment beam.”
The TrueBeam system can deliver treatments up to 50 percent faster, which adds to patient comfort, according to officials. An ETMC news release says intelligent automation further speeds treatments with up to a five-fold reduction in the number of steps needed for imaging, positioning and treating patients. “A standard intensity-modulated treatment that would typically take 10 minutes can be completed in 2 minutes; making this process easier for the patient,” said Dr. McKellar. For more information about TrueBeam, visit http://www.etmc.org or contact the ETMC Cancer Institute at 903-595-5550.