New linear accelerator at Helios Hospital Wuppertal: even more precise, even more convenient
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New linear accelerator at Helios Hospital Wuppertal: even more precise, even more convenient

Another new linear accelerator is in use at the Clinic for Radiation Therapy and Radiation Oncology at Helios University Hospital Wuppertal.

Helios University Hospital Wuppertal has had two linear accelerators for the radiotherapeutic treatment of tumor patients since 2010. After one accelerator was already replaced by a state-of-the-art device in 2019, the second accelerator has now also been replaced.

The two accelerators are state-of-the-art and in principle identical in construction. However, the device now installed offers a further increase in precision and safety thanks to an additional external X-ray system. In addition, patient comfort is significantly improved by the elimination of skin markings. All patients benefit from this technical development. Radiation, which is already accurate to the millimeter, can be optimized even further, especially in the case of brain or lung tumors.

Increased patient comfort and well-being

The room in which this high-performance medical device is located is bright and spacious. LED motif panels are mounted on the ceiling, directly above the table on which the patient:lies inside, so that the patient virtually looks up at the blue sky during irradiation. "This detail has a positive effect and can certainly take away a little anxiety" explains Prof. Dr. med. Marc D. Piroth, Chief Physician of the Clinic for Radiotherapy, Radio-Oncology and Medical Director of the MVZ Helios Wuppertal GmbH. "Looking at this photo motif can certainly help oncology patients relax during treatment. This was an important reason for us to make the windowless treatment room more pleasant and brighter, in addition to the new technology," he continues.

Image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) with surface scanning

A special feature of the new True Beam compared to conventional radiation techniques is the combination of image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) with surface scanning.

Image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT): On the construction side, the linear accelerator has an imaging system with which the position and detection of the tumor is recorded either by orthogonal X-ray images or by three-dimensional imaging - analogous to a CT - directly on the radiation table. In this installation, this imaging is supplemented by an additional, external digital X-ray system, which also enables position control during irradiation and - if necessary - direct correction of the patient's positioning with millimeter precision in all spatial directions.

Surface scanning: By scanning the surface of the body during radiation planning, positioning on the radiation table and during the entire radiation session, positioning before and during radiation is even more precise. By permanently scanning the body surface, even during the entire irradiation session, movements or changes in the patient's position are detected immediately. The irradiation is then immediately interrupted automatically and a positioning correction can be made.

In addition, the body surface temperature is measured by a special integrated thermo-camera, which supplements the detection with the optical system and thus significantly improves the resolution. Thus, 3 independent systems are used for positioning and monitoring the position during irradiation.

Another major advantage

Another advantage that significantly improves patient comfort is the elimination of skin markers by using surface scanning. When washing or showering, there is no risk of the markers being washed off.

To the point

In summary, this impressive advancement in medical technology offers even more precise and even safer high-dose irradiation delivered by multiple independent systems. This ensures the best possible protection of surrounding tissue and organs. "As a certified oncology center, we aim to keep pace with the times for our patients and benefit from technical progress," says Prof. Piroth.

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