NEW technology has been unveiled, signifying the latest advancement in radiosurgery and paving the way for the treatment to be expanded for use in cancers found in organs all over the body.
Brainlab has launched the HybridArc radiosurgery planning solution, a software package that enables healthcare professionals to increase the efficiency of existing linear accelerator (LINAC) radiosurgery technologies without the need for expensive equipment upgrades.
Coming at a time when the NHS faces major cutbacks in capital spending and pressure to improve outcomes in key specialties including cancer, HybridArc expands on the already well-established Dynamic Arc stereotactic treatment technique to offer high-dose conformity to the target tumour while sparing nearby organs and offering less residual dose when compared to other techniques such as rotational intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMR).
By using this we can get the most from our treatment machine and treat more patients with precision and speed without having to invest in an expensive new system
Instead, the solution uses an adaptive dose calculation matrix, taking into account the different parameters affecting distribution to provide the necessary precision when opting for stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). Combined with automation, it calculates plans within minutes, ensuring reduced treatment times and enabling patients to benefit from more advanced techniques.
Thierry Gevaert, medical physicist at the Universitair Ziekenhuis in Belgium, is among the first to use the technology, and says "We have looked at HybridArc as a cost-effective way to expand and improve on the capabilities offered by our current radiosurgery system. By using this we can get the most from our treatment machine and treat more patients with precision and speed without having to invest in an expensive new system."
David Brett of Brainlab added: "HybridArc is the next revolutionary step in radiosurgery. By enabling doctors to accurately cover the target while preserving vital function such as hearing or eye sight, this provides new possibilities in cancer care."
Able to link up to most existing LINAC-based radiosurgery systems such as the Novalis, HybridArc was officially unveiled at last week's International Stereotactic Radiosurgery Society Congress in Paris.
During a webcast experts claimed it would further advance current SRS treatment, which focuses mainly on brain and head cancers, to enable new solutions for tumours found elsewhere in the body.
By enabling doctors to accurately cover the target while preserving vital function such as hearing or eye sight, this provides new possibilities in cancer care
Dr Robert Spiegelmann, founder and director of the stereotactic and functional neurosurgery and radiosurgery unit at The Chaim Sheba Medical Center in Israel, and a past president of the International Society for Stereotactic Radiosurgery, told the conference: "SRS has transformed the treatment of tumours considered incurable, enabling those that cannot be got rid of to be controlled. SRS can get radiotherapy to areas that are difficult, or dangerous, to access with open surgery.
"With more accurate technology, SRS can now be applied to the whole body; to the lungs, the liver and other important organs. In the next decade we are going to see a revolution in these areas as we have done in the skull. This provides the possibility of patients going in for treatment in the morning and going home in the evening with no open surgery."
HybridArc has been approved for use in Europe and the US.