Varian image-guided radiotherapy selected for Portsmouth hospital
12 December 2007
The new Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, UK,
will receive four high-energy Clinac iX linear accelerators supplied by
Varian Medical Systems. They will be equipped with on-board imager devices
for advanced image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) treatments.
Due to open in summer 2009, Queen Alexandra Hospital will enable all acute
services currently spread across three sites to be brought together under
one roof. This includes the current oncology centre at St Mary’s Hospital.
The new facility will serve a population of 600,000 people and is one of the
UK’s largest replacement projects since the investment waves for cancer
services started with the UK government’s Cancer Plan.
Tony Palmer, the hospital’s head of radiotherapy physics, said, “This new
facility will mean we can offer local cancer patients treatments that are
truly state-of-the-art internationally. We will also be one of the only NHS
cancer centres in the UK with every one of our treatment machines equipped
for 3D image-guided radiotherapy, which we feel is crucially important.”
According to Mr Palmer, the desire to have all four machines equipped with
on-board imager accessories was supported by the recommendations of the
recent National Radiotherapy Advisory Group (NRAG) report on radiotherapy
provision. “The NRAG report highlighted the importance of image-guidance on
new linear accelerators and we want to be able to offer our patients the
highest quality treatments on all machines, not just one or two,” he said.
“Our whole team of doctors, radiographers and physicists are very excited
about the proposition of a new centre with advanced technology for offering
the best possible cancer treatments. This will enable us to precisely align
the treatment beam with the tumour, using advanced imaging at the point of
treatment with the ability to account for respiratory motion.”
Clinicians at St Mary’s Hospital are about to introduce highly-conformal
intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) treatments and this program will be
expanded once the new machines are installed. An acuity simulator at the
current facility will be transferred to the new site next year and will have
Varian’s 4D respiratory compensation functionality added.
Varian’s UK sales manager, adds, "The team at Portsmouth undertook a very
comprehensive evaluation of all aspects of the package including the ability
to meet clinical and technical requirements as well as service provision and
support. As the UK's leading supplier of radiotherapy equipment and software
we were extremely pleased to have been selected on this basis over the
incumbent supplier and are looking forward to working in partnership with
Portsmouth to bring the world’s most advanced radiotherapy treatments to
patients on the south coast of England."
Prior to the advent of IGRT
devices such as the On-Board Imager, radiation oncologists had to contend
with variations in patient positioning and with respiratory motion by
treating a larger margin of healthy tissue around the tumour. IGRT enables
doctors to further minimize the volume of healthy tissue exposed to the
treatment beam. Potentially, image data from IGRT tools like the on-board
imager device will be used to note changes in tumour size and shape over a
course of treatment, and make real-time adaptations to the treatment plan.
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