ASTRO round-up: Acceletronics, Actuality Systems, AMICAS, IntraOp, Xoft
Acceletronics, a U.S. provider of oncology equipment service and distributor of new and pre-owned radiotherapy equipment, demonstrated the TheraView Electronic Portal Imaging Device (EPID) at ASTRO. The TheraView EPID is an image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) cancer treatment verification system, designed by Dutch manufacturer Cablon Medical BV. Acceletronics is the North American distributor of TheraView and they sell, install and service the systems. TheraView gives clinicians a large scope of mega-voltage portal imaging and quality assurance features. The system can function as a stand-alone system, but also can be easily integrated with a department’s health IT systems. Additionally, the TheraView Target Check with automated treatment beam shape verification and patient position verification software, helps with precision and control in both conventional IGRT and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT).

Actuality Systems, a developer of holographic image-guided radiation therapy (HIGRT), made its second trip to ASTRO this year. The company showcased its PerspectaRAD planning technology, which has been shown through six initial peer-reviewed clinical studies to produce superior treatment plans 57 percent of the time in comparison to conventional planning, said Michael Goldstein, president and CEO. The system consists of a 20-inch dome that plugs into a PC to display full-color and full-motion MRI, x-ray, CT and nuclear medicine images in true 3D space. Additionally, studies at Tufts New England Medical Center, Rhode Island Hospital, and Rush University Medical Center have shown the technology’s potential in real-time 4D cases, Goldstein said.

AMICAS highlighted its push to offer an “end-to-end solution” for oncology departments comprised of two to four physicians that includes the company’s RIS, PACS, document management, and billing systems. Representatives of the company said at ASTRO that the move into the oncology imaging space is a natural progression for the company. The company’s PACS tools, for example, need little customization in order to work well in such an environment. Reports can even be made to look more like treatment plans listed as a whole rather than separate individual events. One recent example of a facility taking on AMICAS’ technology to aid radiation planning and treatment is Southwest Oncology, a large oncology group in Arizona, with four locations covering both Arizona and Minnesota. Southwest Oncology installed the company’s Vision Series RIS, PACS, Financials and Document Management – driven by the company’s Imaging Dashboard, to create an entirely filmless and paperless environment. The digital process covers patient check-in, therapy planning, radiation treatment, and assists the work of radiation physicists and medical dosimetrists, the company said.

IntraOp Medical demonstrated the benefits of its Mobetron system, a proprietary, fully mobile, self-shielding, electron-beam instrument designed for intraoperative electron radiation therapy (IOERT), the direct application of radiation to a tumor while a patient is undergoing cancer surgery. According to IntraOp President and CEO Donald Goer, the general benefits of the technology include:
  • Minimizes damage to surrounding healthy tissue
  • Arrests spread of cancer cells following surgery
  • Allows for dose escalation while reducing the potential for unwanted side effects
  • Delivers image guided radiation therapy (IGRT) that allows the surgical team to see exactly where radiation is needed

Xoft highlighted its Axxent Electronic Brachytherapy System for the treatment of breast cancer that received clearance from the FDA earlier this year. Electronic Brachytherapy is a proprietary technology platform designed to deliver localized, non-radioactive, isotope-free radiation treatment in a minimally-shielded clinical setting under the supervision of a radiation oncologist.

The Axxent Electronic Brachytherapy System uses disposable micro-miniature x-ray radiation sources to deliver ionizing radiation treatment directly to tumor beds. In its first indication for use, the Axxent System can be used to deliver a course of radiation therapy for early stage breast cancer. As a platform technology, the Axxent Electronic Brachytherapy System is designed to address a variety of oncological and non-oncological indications.

Currently nine initial sites are doing early physics testing involving 40 patients before the Axxent systems go into full implementation, said Marga Ortigas-Wedekind, vice president, marketing and development,  Ortigas-Wedekind believes that the systems will have street availability in July next year.

Xoft is continuing its work in expanding its product to several complementary oncology indications, including genecology. That line has a hoped-for launch date of fall of 2007, she said.