ASTRO’s Top Six Trends in Radiation Therapy

At this year’s American Society for Radiation Oncology’s annual meeting, the following radiation therapy technology trends were labeled as the most up-and-coming. 

Flash Therapy
Labeled a “revolutionary” way to treat cancer, flash therapy has been under the radar for the past few years. Rather than giving fractions of radiation to patients over days or weeks at a time, a full dose is delivered swiftly. Healthy tissues react differently to high doses of radiation as opposed to smaller doses over time; the tissues recover well, and cancer cells are rapidly destroyed. This therapy can potentially revolutionize radiation therapy, making patient treatment slots more available. 

Image-Guided Radiotherapy Systems
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) guided linear accelerators (linac) systems gained popularity through the past few years thanks to their ability to allow real-time imaging during radiation therapy. With this process, patients are more aligned with the therapy through changes in tissue movement, breathing, food intake, bowel gas, etc. Though the results are more accurate and safer, they take longer to perform, and are being reserved for certain types of cancers. 

Proton: A Mainstream Treatment
Becoming more widely available, this therapy is highly accurate and performs better than the best photon therapy systems. Randomized trials will soon compare proton therapy versus photon therapy in prostate, lung, and breast cancer. Proton therapy interacts with cell biology differently than photon beam therapy. Proton flash therapy also makes proton systems more economically viable, since many more patients can be treated at once. 

PSMA PET For Prostate Cancer
Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA) Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging for prostate cancer can monumentally improve the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. In male patients with prostate cancer, the drug for PET nuclear imaging of PSMA-positive lesions was approved by the FDA. 

Synthetic CT from MRI Is Cost-Effective for Radiotherapy
New software can convert MRI databases into synthetic CT image datasets to assist in treatment plans. Since separate CT scans are not needed, costs can be reduced and care can be sped up. MRI is preferred for diagnosis compared to CT, as it can help provide a better understanding of the disease extent. 

AI (Artificial Intelligence) in Radiotherapy
AI is being used mainly as a time saver, as it speeds up routine tasks, automates treatment plans, offers alternative options, and more. AI can target tumors, identify tissues to avoid using radiation on, and provide information to suggest better treatment decisions. 

Acceletronics is an industry leader in delivering the best equipment performance and service reliability from CT Scanners and Linear Accelerators across all major brands and models. Call 610-524-3300 or visit our website: https://www.acceletronics.com.

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Novel AI Might Predict Heart Attacks

New research published in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine shows how physicians can use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to predict heart attacks. The study included 293 participants with coronary artery disease; 22 people experienced a myocardial event during the 53-month follow-up period.

When used in combination with F-sodium fluoride (F-NaF) and quantitative coronary plaque analysis (via CT angiography) along with clinical findings, physicians can easily predict the risk of myocardial infractions.

Predicting heart attacks has been challenging in everyday clinical practice and is typically based on cardiovascular risk factors. Patients with coronary artery disease can have underlying conditions despite high scores.

Pitor J. Slomka, Ph.D., FACC, FASNC, FCCPM, director of Innovation in Imaging at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, said, “Recently, advanced imaging techniques have demonstrated considerable promise in determining which coronary artery disease patients are most at risk for a heart attack. These techniques include 18F-sodium fluoride (18F-NaF) PET, which assesses disease activity in the coronary arteries, and CT angiography, which provides a quantitative plaque analysis. Our goal in the study was to investigate whether the information provided by 18F-NaF PET and CT angiography is complementary and could improve prediction of heart attacks with the use of artificial intelligence techniques.”

The AI-assisted process exhibited a significant advancement in predicting heart attacks rather than employing clinical data alone.

Slomka said, “F-NaF PET combined with anatomical imaging provided by CT angiography has the potential to enable precision medicine by guiding the use of advanced therapeutic interventions. Our study supports the use of artificial intelligence methods for integrating multimodality imaging and clinical data for robust prediction of heart attacks.”

Acceletronics is an industry leader in delivering the best equipment performance and service reliability from CT Scanners and Linear Accelerators across all major brands and models. Call 610-524-3300 or visit our website: https://www.acceletronics.com.

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Henry Ford Health System Implants Novel Therapy for Brain Tumors

Surgeons at Michigan’s Henry Ford Health System successfully treated a patient who suffers from a recurrent brain tumor by delivering a dose of radiation therapy directly on the tumor. This new approach could revolutionize treatment by delaying or preventing future tumor cells from regrowing. Called GammaTile Therapy, the surgically targeted radiation therapy was the first of its kind performed in Michigan; the patient was a 41-year-old male.

Adam Robin, M.D., a neurosurgeon at the Hermelin Brain Tumor Center at Henry Ford, said, “The current standard of care for brain tumors is tumor resection, often followed by radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of both. Approximately half of patients treated for brain tumors experience tumor recurrence within a year. In his most recent surgery, the patient was treated with a form of surgically targeted radiation therapy, which targets residual tumor cells with radiation before they can significantly replicate. Our hope is this therapy will delay or prevent the tumor cells from replicating and forming a recurrent tumor.”

GammaTile Therapy is cleared by the FDA and designed to delay tumor regrowth while protecting healthy brain tissue in patients who suffer from recurring tumors.

Mira M. Shah, M.D., a radiation oncologist at Henry Ford, external beam radiation therapy is usually delivered no sooner than two- to three weeks after surgery to let the incision heal. With GammaTile, the radiation is focused on specific areas of the brain using a type of brachytherapy (internal radiation) which delivers a therapeutic dose to the tumor during surgery.

Leaving the healthy tissue unharmed, GammaTile maximizes the amount of radiation aimed at the tumor and is critical for those patients who have received external beam radiation therapy, which exposes healthy tissue to radiation.

A bioresorbable, conformable 3D-collaten tile uses uniformly spaced radiation sources to target the tumor cavity after the tumor is removed. In just 33 days, 90 percent of the radiation dose is delivered, and after 100 days, the GammaTiles are considered free from radiation. The placement of GammaTile takes approximately five minutes.

Acceletronics is an industry leader in delivering the best equipment performance and service reliability from CT Scanners and Linear Accelerators across all major brands and models. Call 610-524-3300 or visit our website: https://www.acceletronics.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Augmented Reality (AR) Becoming an Aspect of Surgery

ClariffEye, an industry-first solution that combines 2D and 3D visualizations, uses a 3D Augmented Reality (AR) system to enable surgeons to define and navigate through real-time. Royal Phillips announced the first patients had been successfully treated using ClariffEye at Sant Joan de Deu Barcelona Children’s Hospital in Spain along with the Armed Forces Hospital, Oman.

Philips integrated Spine Suite was used by both surgeons, which showcases the Azurion Hybrid Operating Room (OR) in conjunction with ClariffEye. Both surgeries performed with ClariffEye were spinal.

“The level of success of this surgery would not have been possible to reach without ClarifEye,” said Dr. Alejandro Peiró, Orthopedic surgeon and pediatric traumatologist at Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Ahmed Al Jahwari, Head of Department Orthopedics and Spine Surgery at Hospital MoD, Oman, said, “Philips’ new technology enables us to perform less invasive procedures and produce better outcomes for patients with spine conditions. Thanks to the high quality of the intraoperative cone beam CT imaging and the positioning flexibility of the ClarifEye system, we can ensure that implants are in place which lowers post-operative CT scans to check implant placements.”

Spinal procedures can be challenging and fragile to maneuver for surgeons. Delicate neurological and vascular structures near the spine are susceptible to damage. Minimally-invasive techniques have become more prevalent thanks to recent technology, which reduces blood loss, soft tissue damage, and post-operative discomfort.

With ClariffEye, surgeons can utilize real-time imaging in addition to 3D navigation to increase accuracy and improve outcomes.

According to Science Reports, ClariffEye performed accurately better compared to open surgery without 3D navigation. Additionally, ClariffEye has a 98 percent accurate ability to place a pedicle screw during minimally invasive procedures.

“We’re excited that international access to ClarifEye is expanding, and more hospitals and patients will get to experience its benefits firsthand,” said Karim Boussebaa, General Manager Image Guided Therapy Systems at Philips. “As the latest addition to Spine Suite, ClarifEye adds a new dimension in surgical precision for patients. It is a great example of how we’re innovating procedures and helping clinicians to deliver on the Quadruple Aim of better health outcomes, improve patient experience and staff satisfaction, and lower cost of care.”

Acceletronics is an industry leader in delivering the best equipment performance and service reliability from CT Scanners and Linear Accelerators across all major brands and models. Call 610-524-3300 or visit our website: https://www.acceletronics.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Fewer Imaging Exams Scheduled During Virtual Visits

New research published in the JAMA Network Open suggests primary care visits that take place via video or phone result in fewer imaging scan orders.

The COVID-19 pandemic has fueled telehealth as a primary way for physicians to offer patient care. As patients stay home to limit exposure to the virus, physician follow-up care can look different.

Using pre-pandemic data from more than 1.1 million patients, Kaiser Permanente researchers found that primary care doctors ordered imaging in roughly 59 percent of office visits versus 29 percent of virtual and 27 percent over the phone.

The study did not specify the reason behind the variance; however, the authors suggested patients who were more ill might have sought out in-person primary care.

Mary Reed, DrPH, a Kaiser Permanente research scientist, said, “It is possible that these differences in treatment might be driven by the types or seriousness of concerns that patients chose for each visit type, or by the degree to which physicians could assess the patient in each visit type. We need to explore these details further in future research.”

The study analyzed primary care appointments at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California between 2016 and midway through 2018; almost 2.2 million were evaluated. Video and telephone visits resulted in a lower number of medications prescribed (39 percent and 35 percent, respectively) compared to office-based visits, which were at 52 percent.

Overall, 25 percent of video visits required a follow-up appointment within a week. Telephone and in-person visits required follow-ups at 26 percent and 24.5 percent, respectively.

Emergency department visits or hospitalizations did not see a difference.

The study wrote, “In contrast to prior studies of direct-to-consumer telemedicine, we did not find evidence of over-ordering or over-prescribing among patients using telemedicine to visit their own primary care doctors. Video or telephone visits may be a convenient and safe way for patients to address some primary care needs without generating a substantial number of follow-up office visits or experiencing health events.”

Acceletronics is an industry leader in delivering the best equipment performance and service reliability from CT Scanners and Linear Accelerators across all major brands and models. Call 610-524-3300 or visit our website: https://www.acceletronics.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

GE Plans to Form Three Public Companies

GE will form three industry-leading public companies concentrated on three sectors: aviation, energy, and healthcare. GE will retain 19.9 percent of shares in the new healthcare company, a spin-off of GE Healthcare, which will be fully functional by early 2023. As for renewable energy, GE plans to merge GE Renewable Energy, GE Power, and GE Digital by early 2024. Later on down the line, GE will be a company focused on aviation and the future of flight.

The goals are to create long-term growth and better value for customers, investors, and employees. GE plans to deepen operational focus and accountability to rise to customer needs. Distinct strategies and industry-tailored features will be fulfilled through capital allocations. Growth opportunities will be achieved through tactical strategies and financial flexibility. Incentives and career opportunities will be available to employees. Investment profiles will be presented in a compelling and more distinct manner to broaden investment areas. Finally, the boards of directors will have a thorough understanding of each domain.

H. Lawrence Culp, Jr., GE Chairman and CEO, said, “At GE we have always taken immense pride in our purpose of building a world that works. The world demands—and deserves—we bring our best to solve the biggest challenges in flight, healthcare, and energy. By creating three industry-leading, global public companies, each can benefit from greater focus, tailored capital allocation, and strategic flexibility to drive long-term growth and value for customers, investors, and employees. We are putting our technology expertise, leadership, and global reach to work to better serve our customers. Today is a defining moment for GE, and we are ready. Our teams have done exceptional work strengthening our financial position and operating performance, all while deepening our culture of continuous improvement and lean. And we’re not finished—we remain focused on continuing to reduce debt, improve our operational performance, and strategically deploy capital to drive sustainable, profitable growth. We have a responsibility to move with speed to shape the future of flight, deliver precision health, and lead the energy transition. The momentum we have built puts us in a position of strength to take this exciting next step in GE’s transformation and realize the full potential of each of our businesses.”

GE plans on reducing debt by over $75 billion at the end of 2021. By 2023, the company will be a well-capitalized, three-part company.

Acceletronics is an industry leader in delivering the best equipment performance and service reliability from CT Scanners and Linear Accelerators across all major brands and models. Call 610-524-3300 or visit our website: https://www.acceletronics.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Owners Can Now Repair Imaging Devices

A final rule was recently granted by the federal government that allows medical imaging equipment owners to repair their machines without intervention from the maker. This new rule shatters a copyright barrier that was previously in place.

An exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) allows servicers to work around medical device security controls to access software required to maintain or restore the system. The Copyright Office Registrar recommended the Library of Congress moves forward with the change.

The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance represents the original imaging equipment manufacturers and released a statement saying the recommendation to move forward will lead to “unnecessary safety and security risks” for patients.

In a statement, the President and CEO of Avante Health Solutions said, “This is significant to healthcare systems looking for affordable options to maintain and repair expensive medical equipment and associated devices. Avante is thrilled, as this ruling builds on the FDA’s recognition of the merits and safety of the services provided by independent service organizations.”

The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) outlined that manufacturers are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and independent technicians are not held to the same standards as they have a lower amount of scrutiny associated with their position.

Moreover, the alliance also voiced concern over whether manufacturers’ intellectual property would be exposed to the public, which would be detrimental to the industry.

“MITA Executive Director Patrick Hope said, “If this recommendation is ultimately accepted and implemented, it would amount to a license for unregulated third-party servicers to hack sensitive technology, creating grievous cybersecurity and patient safety risks. We intend to continue to advocate against this misguided approach.”

Acceletronics is an industry leader in delivering the best equipment performance and service reliability from CT Scanners and Linear Accelerators across all major brands and models. Call 610-524-3300 or visit our website: https://www.acceletronics.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Samsung Introduces Novel V8: High-End Ultrasound System

Samsung, specifically NeuroLogica Corp., its United States healthcare subsidiary, recently introduced the V8: a high-end ultrasound system with Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. The machine boasts improved image quality, usability, and enhanced accessibility for ultrasound technicians. 

The United States Food and Drug Administration recently cleared the V8 for commercial use. Two new AI functions include “NerveTrack,” which identifies the specific location of nerves during live scanning, and “UterineAssist,” which locates tissue changes and helps the user measure the uterus.

David Legg, NeuroLogica Vice President of Ultrasound and Digital Radiography, said, “We are pleased to launch the V8. We designed it with the user in mind, from its premium imaging engine to its ergonomic design. The ‘V’ in ‘V8’ stands for ‘versatile’ because a wide range of departments from obstetrics to radiology and orthopedics to cardiology can make use of its complex functions. We anticipate the V8 to become a flagship product within the high-end ultrasound category.”

Crystal Architecture is the foundation that runs the V8’s image clarity system. It is built with a combination of novel beamforming (CrystalBeam), advanced image handling (CrystalLive), and advanced S-Vue Single Crystal Transducers. Each one of these aspects blends to generate precise, consistent, high-resolution figures.

The V8 is stocked with exceptional technologies such as ShadowHDR, which suppresses shadows and enhances the clarity of grayscale images; S-Shearwave Imaging, which uses ultrasonic transverse elasticity to give information related to tissue stiffness when related to disease; S-Fusion technology, which grants total alignment of medical images with one or more cross-sectional studies (MRI, for example) which are instantly reconstructed; and MV-Flow, which enhances the visualization of low-flow blood flow conditions.

Various 3D, 4D, and 5D technologies are also supported by the V8, allowing the operator to see a structure with remarkable detail. The V8 can deliver a higher level of usefulness and value to many diagnostic medical ultrasound departments. 

For more information about the V8 system, visit the NeuroLogica website.

Acceletronics is an industry leader in delivering the best equipment performance and service reliability from CT Scanners and Linear Accelerators across all major brands and models. Call 610-524-3300 or visit our website: https://www.acceletronics.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

FDA Clears First Photon-Counting CT System

On September 30, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared the world’s first photon-counting Computed Tomography (CT) scanner. Dubbed the Siemens Naeotom Alpha, the machine is a revolution in technology and represents the biggest shift in radiology in years.

Laurel Burk, Ph. D., assistant director of the Diagnostic X-ray Systems Team in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said, “Computed tomography is an important medical imaging tool that can aid in diagnosing disease, trauma, or abnormality; planning and guiding interventional or therapeutic procedures and monitoring the effectiveness of certain therapies. Today’s action represents the first major new technology for computed tomography imaging in nearly a decade and underscores the FDA’s efforts to encourage innovation in areas of scientific and diagnostic progress.”

Photon-counting detectors have the ability to measure each individual X-ray photon that passes through a patient’s body. Current CT systems use detectors that measure the total energy radiated from multiple X-rays simultaneously. This creates image noise, which is not as valuable when reading images. The new photon-counting system allows each individual X-ray to be read, which gives more specific details about the patient. The Siemens Naeotom Alpha creates a three-dimensional (3D) image.

Cynthia McCollough, Ph. D., scientific director of the Mayo Clinic CT Clinical Innovation Center, said, “The use of photon-counting detectors in CT scanners is really a reinvention of CT imaging because the X-ray detector is the secret sauce that determines the quality of an image, somewhat like how the number of megapixels in your phone camera determines the quality of your photo.” McCollough worked with Siemens to develop the new system, testing prototypes along the way.

McCollough added, “The images that we are seeing are incredible. We can appreciate structures that were simply too small to be resolved with previous detector technologies. The resolution is exquisite, there are noise benefits, and it is dual-energy plus, because you can get multiple energies from one scan.”

Acceletronics is an industry leader in delivering the best equipment performance and service reliability from CT Scanners and Linear Accelerators across all major brands and models. Call 610-524-3300 or visit our website: https://www.acceletronics.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

MRI Machine Falls, Kills Worker

At the University of Utah Health, a contracted worker was moving an MRI when the machine fell and killed him. The accident occurred at a loading dock as the machine was being moved outside of the building from the fourth floor to the first floor.

The injured man was sent to the Emergency Department at the Salt Lake City hospital where he later died. A second worker who was also moving the machine suffered a minor injury.

Alison Flynn Gaffney, Executive Director of University Hospital service lines and system planning, said, “This was meant to be a milestone occasion for our team, and something that has been in the works for several years. We are incredibly saddened to learn that someone tragically died in this incident and our hearts go out to the family.”

Local authorities are working with hospital employees to determine the cause of the industrial accident. The Salt Lake City Fire Department hazmat crew were originally dispatched to the scene; occupational safety experts are investigating the incident.

Gaffney said there were multiple emergency and safety plans in place at the time. The machine weighs 20,000 pounds, so moving it is a challenge. Gaffney dubbed it an “outside event” with “infrastructure and scaffolding” along with “multiple safety components” involved. She said the hospital has moved machines like this “many, many times.”

Acceletronics is an industry leader in delivering the best equipment performance and service reliability from CT Scanners and Linear Accelerators across all major brands and models. Call 610-524-3300 or visit our website: https://www.acceletronics.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.