◦Stereotactic Radiosurgery Effective Within Standard Time Slots

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A highly precise and noninvasive way of excising tumors using carefully shaped high-energy X-ray beams can be performed quickly and accurately in the treatment of tumors of the brain, spine, thorax, and gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

The Varian TrueBeam STx system was designed for efficient, precise radiosurgery, delivering treatments two to eight times faster than other radiosurgery systems when operating in high intensity mode. Intelligent automation further speeds treatments with an up to five-fold reduction in the number of steps needed for imaging, positioning, and treating patients, compared with earlier generations of technology. Additionally, a high-definition multileaf collimator shapes the radiation dose so that it closely matches the shape of the targeted tumor, in order to precisely carry out delicate procedures near critical structures such as the optic chiasm, the brain stem, or the spinal cord.

On a TrueBeam system, sophisticated RapidArc radiosurgery procedures for spinal and brain lesions can be carried out within a standard 15-minute radiotherapy time slots, according to a recent study carried out by researchers from the University of Alabama (UAB; Birmingham, USA). These are treatments that can take 45 minutes to an hour or longer using standard cobalt-based or robotic technology systems. The Varian TrueBeam STx system is a product of Varian Medical Systems (Palo Alto, CA, USA).

“Linear accelerator radiosurgery has come a long way, matching and even surpassing what was possible with earlier generations of radiosurgery technology,” commented Antonio De Salles, MD, PhD, a professor of neurosurgery at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA, USA). “It has been exciting to see these capabilities evolve along with the technology, and become applicable for treating lesions not only inside the cranium, but in the rest of the body as well.”

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    June 10, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla.—It’s necessary to understand the use cases and advantages and disadvantages of tablets to use them in a powerful way, said Carl Miller, MD, of Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, during a June 9 presentation about mobile technologies at the annual meeting of the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM).

    Tablets are a disruptive technology in medical imaging, according to Miller, who offered a number of reasons behind the power of the tablet.

    “Mobile technology is creating new classes of medical imaging consumers beyond radiologists,” he said. Medical imaging consumption is moving beyond image-intense specialists such as orthopedists and emergency medicine physicians to primary care physicians and physician extenders and ultimately patients.

    When Johns Hopkins purchased iPads (Apple) for its 40 radiology residents, the institution was soon overwhelmed by demand from clinician for image access on the iPad. Miller and colleagues solved the dilemma by deploying an HTML5 web viewer to enable widespread image viewing.

    Currently, the primary users of iPads are referring physicians, who use the devices to share images with patients, noted Woojin Kim, MD, director, Center for Translational Imaging Informatics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia. However, there are implications and opportunities for radiologists, institutions and vendors.

    Radiologists could use tablets to enhance consultations and to educate clinicians and patients on rounds, which is an opportunity for imaging professionals to become more embedded in the clinical care setting, said Miller. And by enabling more rapid, image-centric consultations, iPads could improve efficiency for radiologists and referring physicians by reducing wasted wait time for consultation, said Kim.

    Ultimately, iPads seem likely to follow the laws of disruptive technology. That is, adopters will innovate uses, forcing competition between iPads and traditional image-viewing platforms.

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