Radiation Oncology Gets New Tool to Improve Service
Michele Decker, and L.D. Farr, radiation therapists with the Roudebush VA Medical Center’s Radiation Oncoclogy Service stand proudly next to the brand new state-of-the-art model CT machine.
The Radiation Oncology department at the Roudebush VA Medical Center has installed a state-of-the-art Philips Brilliance Big Bore Computed Tomography (CT) Simulator.
Simulators are used in the treatment of cancer with radiation therapy to “simulate” or model the radiation dose in the patient under treatment. All patients who receive radiation treatments for cancer require simulation in order for the radiation treatment team to develop a treatment plan which is safe and effective. Radiation Oncologists, Physicists, and Dosimetrists (those specializing in measuring the actual dose of radiation) then draw the contours of the cancer, involved areas of the body, and normal tissues on each of as many as 180 CT slices in order to allow computer modeling of the best way to achieve the desired dose within the target while avoiding critical normal tissues.
The new Simulator allows our veteran patients access to the best CT Simulator on the market today. This scanner has an very large field of view, allowing larger patients to be comfortably scanned. The CT Simulator table can accommodate patients weighing as much as 661 poiunds. The larger size also allows patients to be scanned in special immobilization devices, or with other apparatus such as patient monitoring, intravenous delivery devices, or respiratory devices without compromising image quality or positioning. As the scanner uses 16 slices per revolution, the new CT Simulator can cover larger areas while saving time.
The new equipment also has Radiation Oncology-specific tools to allow greater accuracy in radiation treatments. These include Tumor Localization On Console, which allows the radiation oncologist to run a simple simulation to quickly localize the tumor and accurately mark the patient. In addition, the new CT Simulator has Respiratory Correlated Imaging, which allows visualization of multiple lung phases, minimizing motion artifacts and improving clinical confidence.
This means that our patients will spend less time on the CT Simulation table and that the radiation treatment team will have a better ability to treat the tumor targets while limiting radiation dose to health tissue, leading to increased precision.