Published on May 04, 2016

NMMC on the Forefront of Cancer Treatment with TrueBeam

TUPELO, Miss.—In a promising development for cancer patients in north Mississippi, North Mississippi Medical Center Cancer Care recently acquired the TrueBeam system, an innovative system that enables a radically different approach to treating cancer with image-guided radiotherapy.

The TrueBeam system from Varian Medical Systems was engineered from the ground up to deliver more powerful cancer treatments with pinpoint accuracy and precision. It integrates new imaging and motion management technologies with a sophisticated new architecture that makes it possible to deliver treatments more quickly while monitoring and compensating for tumor motion.

“TrueBeam is a real game-changer that will enable us to treat even the most challenging cases with unprecedented speed and precision,” said radiation oncologist Ray Reed, M.D. “With a broad spectrum of new capabilities, TrueBeam makes it possible for us to offer faster, more targeted treatments to tumors even as they move and change over time.

With dose delivery rates that are 40-140 percent higher than earlier generations of Varian technology, the TrueBeam system can complete a treatment commensurately faster. This makes it possible to offer greater patient comfort by shortening treatments, and to improve precision by leaving less time for tumor motion during dose delivery. “Intelligent” automation further speeds treatments with an up to five-fold reduction in the number of steps needed for image guidance and dose delivery.

Simple treatments that once took 15 minutes or more can be completed in less than two once the patient is in position. “These are significant reductions in treatment time,” said Dr. Reed. “Patients will spend a whole lot less time lying still, immobilized on a hard surface.”

The precision of the TrueBeam system is measured in increments of less than a millimeter. This accuracy is made possible by the system’s sophisticated architecture, which synchronizes imaging, patient positioning, motion management, beam shaping and dose delivery, performing accuracy checks every ten milliseconds throughout the treatment. Critical data points are measured, ensuring the system maintains a focal point of treatment.

For lung and other tumors subject to motion when the patient breathes, TrueBeam offers gated RapidArc radiotherapy, which makes it possible to monitor and compensate for breathing while quickly delivering treatment.

“During the last decade, lung cancer became the leading cause of cancer death for men and women in the United States,” Dr. Reed said. “With TrueBeam, we can treat a moving lung tumor as if it were standing still. We expect this to make a meaningful difference for lung cancer patients.”

TrueBeam imaging technology can produce the three-dimensional images used to finetune tumor targeting in 60 percent less time with 25 percent less X-ray dose.

“This machine allows us to choose an imaging mode that minimizes the amount of X-rays needed,” Dr. Reed said.

NMMC Radiation Oncology is located at 990 S. Madison St. in Tupelo.

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