Clatterbridge Cancer Centre selects Novalis Tx platform for robotic radiosurgery

22 February 2010

The Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology in North West England has ordered the UK’s first Novalis Tx radiosurgery platform from Varian Medical Systems and BrainLAB.

The system, which offers an alternative to surgery for cancer and other abnormalities of the brain and body, will start treating patients when Clatterbridge's new satellite centre opens in 2011.

The radiosurgery platform will make it possible for doctors at the Centre to offer the most appropriate form of treatment based on patients’ specific needs, from stereotactic radiosurgery — a very fast treatment designed to eradicate a tumour or lesion in a single session — to longer courses of image-guided radiotherapy, with lower-dose treatments spread out over more sessions.

The Novalis Tx system“Fast treatments are easier on the patient,” says Clatterbridge Senior Research Radiographer Angela Heaton. “It’s hard for anyone to hold still for long periods of time and movement can compromise treatment accuracy. With the Novalis Tx radiosurgery platform, treatments that would have taken up to an hour or more using other techniques can be completed in just minutes, with no compromise in accuracy.”

“The Novalis Tx radiosurgery platform will allow us to treat more patients with stereotactic radiosurgery,” says Mr. Mohsen Javadpour, Consultant Neurosurgeon at The Walton Centre, Liverpool, which will be sharing the new system with Clatterbridge. “It can be used to treat tumours that are inoperable or when surgery presents too high a risk to the patient. This technology helps to deliver highly precise treatment to the tumour with minimal side effects while protecting the surrounding healthy tissue, so we are able to confidently address even the most complex conditions."

The platform combines a powerful linear accelerator, which rotates around the patient to deliver treatment beams from any angle with a set of advanced image guidance and motion management tools that guide patient set-up and positioning, and monitor motion during treatment. A high-definition multi-leaf collimator shapes the treatment beam so it matches the shape of the tumour from every angle. Other radiosurgery devices utilise circular beams to treat.

As most lesions are irregular in shape, a circular dose does not completely cover the exact shape of the tumour. The Novalis Tx radiosurgery platform can be used to deliver frameless radiosurgery treatments, a more patient-friendly alternative to other systems that require immobilization with a head ring that attaches to the skull.

“Targeted beams are delivered without an incision from outside the body to destroy tumours or other abnormalities, so patients treated in this way can avoid lengthy recovery periods, and many of the complications often associated with conventional invasive surgery,” said Dr. Brian Haylock, Clinical Director for Radiotherapy at Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology. “Novalis Tx radiosurgery technology offers us unparalleled image guidance tools and treatment beam sculpting capabilities, so we can achieve a precise level of targeting to protect more of the patient’s healthy tissue during the procedure.”

Image-guided radiosurgery involves efficient delivery of precisely focused, high-energy radiation to a localized area to destroy tumours throughout the body that often cannot be addressed by conventional surgery, including some malignant and benign lesions, brain metastases, arteriovenous malformations, and other functional conditions such as trigeminal neuralgia.


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