Atlantic Health System Cancer Care is now offering breast cancer patients treatments on the TrueBeam™ system. Morristown Medical Center is one of four locations in New Jersey to offer this new radiotherapy system to patients.
TrueBeam™ Radiotherapy System is an advanced image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) system used to treat cancer with speed and accuracy. TrueBeam's sophisticated software and respiratory tracking system allows physicians to confirm the exact location of the tumor or area to be treated, track its movement in real time and protect nearby organs and healthy tissue from unnecessary radiation.
“The breast can move as you breathe, making it difficult to target accurately with standard radiation,” says Mona Karim, MD, vice chair of radiation oncology at Morristown Medical Center’s Carol G. Simon Cancer Center. “As a result, the area to be treated may not receive enough radiation and healthy nearby tissue may get damaged. This advantage is especially important when radiating the left breast which is closer to the heart.”
The TrueBeam system was designed by Varian Medical Systems to treat cancer anywhere in the body where radiation treatment is indicated, including the lung, breast, prostate and head and neck.
The TrueBeam system rotates around the body to deliver radiation therapy from nearly any angle. The treatment beam is generated by a machine called a medical linear accelerator. This machine shapes beams of energy with varying intensities generated by the machine. The treatment beam can be aimed at a tumor or specific area from multiple angles to hit the target in a complete three-dimensional manner. In fact, TrueBeam’s treatment beam can be delivered with submillimeter accuracy and varying intensity.
“The idea is to deliver the lowest dose possible to the surrounding healthy tissue, while still delivering the maximum dose to the target,” says Dr. Karim.
At the same time, TrueBeam’s respiratory gating technology provides the ability to synchronize radiation beams while the patient is breathing.
Speed and precision are the hallmarks of the TrueBeam system:
- It can deliver treatments up to 75 percent faster than other advanced radiation machines.
- Automation results in up to a five-fold reduction in the steps needed for imaging, positioning and treating patients.
- A standard intensity-modulated treatment would typically take 10 minutes. With TrueBeam, it can be done in less than two minutes.
- Complex radiosurgery typically takes 40 minutes to an hour. With TrueBeam it can be completed in 5-20 minutes.
- RapidArc® technology in TrueBeam can mean treatment times as short as 1 minute.
- The system performs accuracy checks every 10 milliseconds throughout an entire treatment.
- The precision of a TrueBeam system is measured in increments of less than 1 millimeter.
- More than 100,000 data points are monitored continually during treatment to ensure safety.
The TrueBeam system can make the experience of receiving radiation therapy more comfortable. Most treatments take just a few minutes a day, which means less time on the treatment table and reduced motion during treatment.
“As a leader in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, we at Morristown Medical Center are proud to offer this superior radiotherapy system to our breast cancer patients,” says Dr. Karim. “I know I am offering my patients world-class therapy.”
Morristown Medical Center is designated by Women’s Choice Award® as an America’s Best Breast Center. The evidence-based designation is the only breast center award that identifies the country’s best healthcare institutions based on robust criteria that consider female patient satisfaction and clinical excellence. As an award winner, Morristown Medical Center has met the high standards of the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) and carries the Breast Imaging Center of Excellence (BICOE) seal from the American College of Radiology. The hospital’s Breast Center received a rating in the top 75% for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) patient recommendation measures.