There may well be a revolution in stereotactic radiotherapy for patients with certain types of prostate and brain cancer, when the Department of Radiotherapy commissions the first Truebeam Novalis STx accelerator in Denmark on 15 March 2012.
Once in operation, it is expected that up to 400 patients a year will be offered high-dosage, precision treatment at the Department of Radiotherapy which, with its fourth modern, advanced and dedicated accelerator, is now one of the largest centres in the world.
Actually the technology and software were originally developed for modern advanced warfare, with high-tech weapons to hit enemy targets with devastating accuracy. But this has been transferred to medical technology to give new, unique opportunities for effective stereotactic radiotherapy, with millimetre accuracy, for patients with certain types of brain and prostate cancer.
Important clinical boostStereotactic radiotherapy is not in itself anything new, and has been available at Rigshospitalet since the mid-1950s. However, with the latest image and computer technological developments, international cancer experts are now talking about nothing less than a revolution. This is especially with regard to effective and accurate radiation treatment for patients with certain types of brain and prostate cancer.
"We're talking about new treatment opportunities with fewer individual treatments and larger doses of radiation from the new Truebeam Novalis STx accelerator, and this will give an important clinical boost for treatment of certain types of cancer," said Svend Aage Engelholm, Head of Department at the Department of Radiotherapy at the Finsen Centre at Rigshospitalet. Rigshospitalet is the only hospital in Denmark with this apparatus.
In stereotactic radiotherapy, the bundle of rays is shaped so that it accurately covers the tumour.The radiation apparatus circles around the patient while it targets the tumour. This gives a high dosage of radiation in the tumour, while the brain around the tumour, for example, receives less radiation because the rays move past very quickly. The further away from the tumour; the less the radiation. Furthermore, where previously patients had to go through 39 individual treatments, stereotactic radiotherapy means that now only five are necessary.
International meeting of researchers at RigshospitaletImmediately after the new equipment is inaugurated on 15 March, Rigshospitalet will host a two-day BrandLab User-Meeting at which about 170 leading international researchers from throughout the world will gather to exchange experience and discuss perspectives for utilising the latest technologies within stereotactic radiotherapy.
Contact details:Svend Aage Engelholm, Head of Department, Department of Radiotherapy, Rigshospitalet.Svend.email@example.com, telephone +45 35454088