State-of-the-art Linear Accelerators
For over a hundred years, radiation has been used to fight cancer. The technology to deliver radiation safely and effectively has improved dramatically in recent years. Today’s modern linear accelerator, the machine that produces high-powered x-rays for the treatment of cancer, is extremely complex. A linear accelerator produces x-ray beams of different strengths or energies. As a result, the radiation oncologist has the flexibility to design a highly specific treatment plan for each patient’s unique situation. Linear accelerators also have the ability to shape the radiation beam to conform to the shape of the cancer while excluding normal healthy organs from the path of the radiation. The beam shaping device, the multi-leaf collimator, is integral to modern radiation therapy techniques like Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT).
ROS centers are home to the most modern linear accelerator technology. Each ROS center has state-of-the-art linear accelerators by Varian or Elekta. Both accelerators combine the advanced treatment technologies of IMRT, Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) and Stereotactic Radiosurgery.
CT-based Treatment Planning
ROS treatment planning systems allow the radiation oncologist to customize a specific treatment plan for each individual patient. With the help of sophisticated software, the radiation oncologist views the radiation dose in 3-dimensions, which maximizes the cancer-killing radiation to the cancer while minimizing the radiation to other areas of the body. CT-based treatment planning is essential in achieving the goal of cure while minimizing side effects as much as possible.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
IMRT is an external beam treatment technique that allows the radiation oncologist to completely customize the radiation treatment plan to each individual patient.
With the aid of sophisticated IMRT treatment planning software, the radiation oncologist specifies the radiation dose to the cancer and simultaneously set limits on the dose to the healthy organs (i.e., the spinal cord). The result is an IMRT treatment plan that carefully paints the cancer with a high dose of radiation, which results in a remarkably effective and precise way to kill cancer.
Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
Since it is critical that the cancer receives the intended dose of radiation for the treatment to be effective, accuracy prior treatment delivery is the basis behind Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT). With IGRT technology, daily images, or snap shots, of the cancer while the patient is in the treatment position are used to assess the exact location of the cancer from one treatment to the next. IGRT also detects daily variation in patient positioning on the treatment table. If the daily snap shot do not match the original treatment plan, the patient is moved into the exact position just moments before treatment delivery. As a result, IGRT technology ensures that radiation therapy is given with utmost precision.
Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy
Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy enhances the delivery of Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy by allowing even more precision when treating cancers in sensitive areas of the body. Cutting-edge computer software allows the radiation oncologist to shrink-wrap the radiation dose around the cancer with even great accuracy. This technology also enhances radiation dose delivery by decreasing the overall daily treatment time, thus making a course of radiation therapy more convenient for patients.
Electronic Medical Records
ROS centers operate in virtually a paperless environment through oncology-specific software from IMPAC®. ROS’ medical records are electronically integrated to include all medical reports, consultations, x-rays, radiation treatment records, nursing assessments and billing information, which facilitates all aspects of patient care across the entire ROS system.