Novel Cancer Treatment Headed to McLaren Flint

An innovative new technology headed to Flint will be used to treat cancer with proton therapy. The McLaren Proton Therapy Center is the first to receive the new machine that treats patients upright, enabling cancer treatment with more precision. 

Leo Cancer Care developed the proton therapy called “Marie,” which will take up less space yet provide more accurate treatments since there will be less organ movement. 

The Proton Therapy Center in Flint will receive the first two upright units and be used within the next two years, pending FDA approval. The largest proton center in Michigan, the new machine will allow more patients to be treated. 

According to a news release from McLaren, proton therapy is a type of radiation therapy that uses protons to accurately target tumor cells and leave healthy surrounding cells undamaged.

Stephen Towe, CEO of Leo Cancer Care, said, “The goal of Leo Cancer Care and McLaren Proton Therapy Center’s collaboration is to bring proton therapy to more patients, and we know there are clear advantages with proton therapy. The McLaren Proton Therapy Center is well-positioned to become the first to potentially treat patients with the revolutionary Leo Cancer Care technology.”

Construction to add the “Marie” units to the Proton Therapy Center in Flint will start in the spring of 2023 and be fully operational by the fall of 2024.  

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 to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

Particle Accelerators Create Potential Cancer Treatment in Lansing

A Lansing company called Niowave has begun producing actinium-225, a silvery metal isotope that barely exists on Earth, with a superconducting linear accelerator. The reason? This isotope is a promising cancer treatment; however, researchers don’t know its full potential due to the absence of clinical trials. 

Niowave has secured a $5 million deal with Fusion Pharmaceuticals to start production in 2024.  Between Russia, the United States, Germany, and Canada, there are only two curies (unit of measurement for radioactive materials) of actinium-225. Niowave plans on making one curie per week. 

In 2019, the federal government gave Niowave $15 million, and another $13 million last year, to produce molybdenum 99, which is used for medical imaging. Since other countries subsidize its production, making a profit from molybdenum 99 is tricky. 

After working with uranium for years, the federal government determined Niowave could function safely with another highly radioactive element, radium, to create actinium-225. 

Cancer therapy isotopes emit beta particles, which can destroy cancer cells but also kill healthy cells around them. Actinium-225 delivers more targeted alpha particles, which can emit more energy at a shorter distance.

Justin Wilson, an associate professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Cornell University said, “If you can get those alpha particles to the cancer cells, they have the capability of doing more damage but in a more confined region. Which, in theory, could prevent hitting healthy cells that maybe aren’t part of the small metastatic lesion.” 

Eric Burak, chief technical officer at Fusion Pharmaceuticals, states that they are working on formulating three separate drugs that use actinium-225. He said the isotope is “One of the rarest elements in the entire planet, and, with more companies interested in its therapeutic potential, everyone is scrambling for actinium supply.” 

Fusion Pharmaceuticals are investing $5 million to help Niowave create actinium-225 in exchange for a guaranteed share of the end result. 

Niowave’s superconducting linear accelerator has been moved to a concrete room as radium is extremely radioactive. 

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 to learn more.


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Video Radiology Helps Patients Better Understand Test Results

Video radiology reports are made for specific patients using simplified language and clearly annotated images to help them better understand test results, according to a novel study published by the American Journal of Roentgenology

Radiologists at NYU Grossman School of Medicine lead the study in collaboration with Visage Imaging GmbH and Siemens Healthineers. The study outlines how radiologists can create these patient-focused videos in under four minutes, delivering the results directly to patients and referring partners through an integrated patient portal. 

Lead author of the study, Michael P. Recht, MD, the Louis Marx Professor of Radiology and chair of the Department of Radiology at NYU Langone Health, said, “For decades radiologists have provided traditional radiology reports that are full of medical jargon and extremely difficult for patients to understand and decipher. Our findings demonstrate that when radiologists take a more active role in patient-centered care and provide helpful information about a particular diagnosis in an easy-to-comprehend manner, both the patient and clinician benefit.”

More than 100 radiologists at NYU Langone Health generated more than 3,500 video radiology reports during a four-month span between September 2021 and January 2022. All imaging modalities were used in the reports, such as MRIs, mammograms, X-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds, etc. 

The average length of each video report was 55 seconds. In a survey, 91 percent of patients reported they preferred both a written and video radiology report, suggesting it was helpful at showcasing the most imperative aspects of the overall report.

Researchers created the video radiology reports with Visage Imaging GmbH to integrate and build a tool inside the Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS), which radiologists use to read imaging studies. 

After a series of images were identified, they were brought into the diagnostic viewer screen and recorded with audio while a mouse was used to identify notable anatomical anomalies. 

The NYU Langone Health MyChart housed the video radiology reports on the patient portal, with personalized clinical notes and a complete written report. 

Dr. Recht said, “Our study disrupts the old adage that radiologists ‘sit in a dark reading room all day’ and are invisible to patients. Through projects and research like this, our radiologists take a more active approach to patient-centered care that allows our department to provide exceptional, world-class 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 to learn more.

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AI Tools Launched at Radiology Center for Breast Cancer 

US Radiology Specialists has partnered with Artificial Intelligence (AI) company Volpara Health to form superior mammography and breast cancer services at Charlotte Radiology in North Carolina. 

Novel analytics performed by Volpara Health’s AI will execute risk assessment, patient communication, reports, quality assurance, and breast density analytics. 

Lindsay Muns, group president of physician practices for US Radiology and CEO of Charlotte Radiology and Upstate Carolina Radiology, said, “With each of our 16 breast imaging centers now equipped with the latest Volpara software tool suite, Charlotte Radiology can better fulfill our most important mission: diagnosing breast cancer early and supporting our patients through their treatment. Implementing advanced technologies like these help us continuously improve both experiences and outcomes for our patients across the Carolinas.”

Amy Sobel, MD, section chief of Charlotte Radiology Breast Imaging, said, “Our partnership with Volpara allows us as radiologists to keep our focus where we need it: on each patient we see. With Volpara, we are assured of accurate and timely reporting, as well as high quality data. This streamlines our workflow and helps us deliver excellent patient care as a team.” 

Across the United States, AI is being implemented at an accelerated rate due to improving cancer care. 

At the Miami Cancer Institute, data from analytics company COTA were used to formulate insights to identify the BRCA gene. This research led to the implementation of total BRCA mutation testing for all newly diagnosed breast cancer. 

Now, a new partnership will focus on minimizing health disparities and gaps in cancer treatment, as preventative care was severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) reported in 2021 that the global pandemic resulted in drastic decreases in cancer screening tests. Without early detection and treatment, many patients suffered from larger growths or more advanced stages of cancer by the time it was eventually detected. 

The COVID-19 pandemic did bring some innovation to cancer screening, however. By using video conferencing tools, education about screening and personalized tests was made possible. 

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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 to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

Deciphering the Difference Between Critical and Mundane Tasks in Radiology

Successful people who thrive in their careers are typically engaged in their workload and manage responsibilities well, with a keen focus uninterrupted by distractions. Generally, it isn’t too difficult to decipher actual “work” from mundane tasks that are counterproductive or irrelevant, yet many people are guilty of partaking in the latter more often than not.

Diagnostic radiologists are typically responsible for interpreting images and providing reports outlining the findings. Whether certain clinical questions, managerial roles, or imaging protocols are involved, the overall group functions more efficiently when everyone is equally engaged.

Once in a while, radiologists might feel like they are partaking in mundane activities; for example, if a reporting template doesn’t match their personal style or search pattern. Another scenario might include defending one’s reporting language against a hypercritical QA reviewer.

Based on what the radiologist believes their work should encompass, one radiologist’s critical tasks are another’s mundane tasks.

To bridge the gap between critical and mundane tasks, it’s imperative one notes the subtle perverse incentives that might be happening in the workplace. Government, regulatory, and academic fields all succumb to perverse incentives when someone is rewarded for bad behavior or punished for good.

Common perverse incentives in radiology include no reward for productivity or no survey of who is contributing to the overall team effort. Radiologists who produce more RVUs might be extra stressed, which increases malpractice liability, both of which are perverse disincentives. To regain equilibrium, the radiologist can reduce their efforts or take more breaks, for example.

When certain team members become more aware of their performance impediments, suddenly, better tools, more personnel, etc., are instated. Once leadership is alerted, staff surveys are performed, which could lead to new hardware, software, coworkers, and more.

Without any sign of stress in the system, those who rank higher on the totem pole are unable to specifically outline any issues or provide support. However, with help from other team members through surveys and the like, leadership can improve the situation based on feedback.

Constructive evaluation and prevention is key in reducing perverse incentives and increasing overall morale.

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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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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.