In the voice of our brand new Linear Accelerator:
Allow me to introduce myself. I am the new member of the Shankara family. I go by the name of True Beam STX. You all are familiar with my two older sisters, Trilogy who is 9 years old and True Beam who is 6 years old. They have toiled very hard at Shankara and have together treated more than 10,000 patients efficiently over the years. I have been brought in not only to help ease their workload but also to bring in new skills.
My eldest sister was very advanced at the time. She can deliver very accurate and fast treatment by using Rapid Arc technology. She is also capable of Stereotactic Radiosurgery treatment. But when multiple sites needed to be treated, she took a long time as there we
re a lot of manual interventions needed. My second sister is more automated than the eldest. She comes with a technology called Flattening Free Filter (FFF), which combined with automation delivers accurate and very fast treatment. But their small limitation was that they could not correct rotational errors that occurred especially during stereotactic treatment.
So you might ask how I am better. Basically, I emit photons for treating cancer. I come equipped with a couch that can move in 6 dimensions (6DoF) that is, apart from the standard anterior-posterior, lateral and cranial-caudal movements, I can also correct rotational displacements. I have an inbuilt CT scan to measure these errors and my couch corrects them. This makes the delivery much more accurate and gives my physician more confidence to treat small tumours. All processes are automated and manual errors are eliminated. I even have automated quality assurance kits that confirm that whatever is planned on the computer is accurately delivered to the patient. My planning system called ECLIPSE is also upgraded and the latest version with which planning is fast and precise.
I also come equipped with a technology called HyperArc which is wonderful for frameless cranial Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) for treating brain cancers. With HyperArc, SRS becomes more precise and efficient. The planning is faster and therefore more patients can be treated.
I can also treat multiple sites faster using HyperArc. This is similar to what another machine called Tomotherapy can do. The multiple sites can be treated with just a press of a button and the couch movement is automated. There is no manual intervention required. I can therefore finish a patient’s treatment in far lesser time than my sisters and as a consequence treat more patients.
Cancer patients will derive maximum benefit from my capabilities. I hope to serve Shankara’s patients efficiently and effectively for a long time to come.
Written by Dr Karthik. S. Rishi
Senior Consultant Radiation Oncologist, Sri Shankara Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Bangalore