Diagnostic imaging  

Agfa launches global CR radiotherapy solution

1 March 2005

New multipurpose solution for digital image acquisition for simulation and portal imaging

Mortsel, Belgium. Agfa HealthCare has announced the launch of its CR (computed radiography) Radiotherapy Solution, a digital simulation and portal imaging system for both low and high dose applications that handles both low and high energy x-rays.

The CR Radiotherapy Solution is a complete system that provides the capability to acquire radiographic images in a radiotherapy environment using CR technology. It enables the acquisition of digital CR images, which, in contrast to conventional film, offer post-processing image enhancement resulting in higher contrast images within radiotherapy application areas that currently use radiographic imaging.

The CR Radiotherapy Solution, which is available with Agfa's recently launched CR 25.0, is capable of serving multiple rooms simultaneously. It complements, and can even replace, the use of an Electronic Portal Imaging Device (EPID) system by offering a broader radiation field and image quality that equals that of EPID systems, but at higher resolution. In addition, the configuration of the system enables elements, such as the imaging cassettes, to be more ergonomic, offering unprecedented flexibility in image manipulation.

A cost-efficient choice because of its lack of requirement for film, chemicals, dark room facilities and storage, the CR Radiotherapy Solution co-exists alongside customers' existing routing capabilities, offering flexible image transfer over the network via DICOM.

Commenting on the CR Radiotherapy Solution's launch, Ann Meersschaert, Product Manager, CR Radiotherapy applications, said: "Following successful field tests in sites across Europe and Canada, and approvals from CE, Europe, the FDA in the US, and the Canadian Licensing Authority, we are delighted to launch our CR Radiotherapy Solution. Whilst the solution is based upon proven components and built upon Agfa's knowledge and expertise in imaging and information management, it has been specifically tailor-made to address the particular challenges faced by professionals within the radiotherapy field and we are confident it will prove invaluable to our customers."

Agfa customers are already experiencing the benefits of the solution. Brad Murray, M.Sc., Senior Medical Physicist Department of Medical Physics, Cross Cancer Center, Alberta Cancer Board, Edmonton, Canada, said: "After reviewing several images from various anatomical sites, which were created with the Agfa CR 25.0 system, both the Radiation Oncologists and the Radiation Therapists felt that the image quality was impressive. The software was very user friendly, and images could easily be moved from this system via DICOM. We are excited about using this system to facilitate becoming filmless in the near future."

And Crister Ceberg, Ph.D., Assoc. Prof. Medical Physicist, Department of Radiation Physics, Lund University Hospital, Sweden, said: "In 2004, we were in the process of introducing digital imaging at the Radiotherapy department in Lund. Digitally reconstructed radiographs were produced by our CT-simulator and treatment planning system, and four of our seven linacs were already equipped with EPIDs. On our remaining conventional simulator and the older accelerators, however, we were still using regular film.

A CR 25.0 system was installed to bridge the gap between film and digital imaging. The CR system provides all the advantages of electronic image management. Yet, the CR cassettes are handled in the same way as the film cassettes, which help making the transition as smooth as possible.

Within a few years, all our simulation and treatment units will probably be replaced or upgraded with digital imaging equipment. Nevertheless, we expect the CR 25.0 system to remain a valuable component in our department, both as a back-up system in case of temporary EPID failure, and for treatment techniques where EPIDs cannot be used, such as for total body irradiations."

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