IBA REDUCES "BEAM ON" TIME BY HALF AT APSS, ITALY

General
/
17.06.2014

At the Trento Azienda Provinciale per i Servizi Sanitari (APSS), Italy, a joint IBA Services and APSS clinician and physicist team has pushed the boundaries of proton therapy technology. Using IBA’s unique Pencil Beam Scanning (PBS) technology, Italy’s first proton therapy gantry-equipped center has halved treatment time to reach a Single Field Uniform Dose of 2Gy in a 10cm³ cube.

With PBS, the proton beam is precisely directed across the target volume, pixel by pixel, layer by layer, to precisely paint the tumor shape, with outstanding dose conformity and uniformity as a result. It leverages the precision of protons to avoid irradiating healthy tissues and critical organs. But more layers require more proton energy adaptations, in order to guarantee maximum dose homogeneity, and precisely these energy changes were absorbing precious shooting time.

“There are only advantages when the 'beam on' time is reduced,” says Marco Schwarz, Medical Physicist at the Trento Proton Therapy Center. “For conventional fractionation, being able to deliver the dose in less than a minute means that clinicians will be more confident that the images obtained just prior to treatment are a good representation of patient anatomy throughout the session, and intrafraction motion will be less of a concern.”

Schwarz continues: “Radiotherapy is going towards hypofractionation, and photon radiotherapy technology is evolving towards much faster treatment times. It is therefore crucial for proton therapy to keep up with these developments and achieve small beam on time also for higher fraction doses. Finally, bringing the time needed for energy changes to the (sub)second level is a first step towards beam delivery techniques that could be applied to moving tumors.”

APSS is expected to begin patient treatments in its two standard gantry-equipped treatment rooms in May-June of this year. By 2015, more than 20 cancer centers will be treating patients using IBA’s Pencil Beam Scanning technology.

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