Radiation Oncology Imaging zeroes in

RSNA President David H. Hussey, MD, discussed the need for more collaboration between diagnostic radiologists and radiation oncologists during his opening address - and some exhibitors were already heeding that call. Hussey said that greater collaboration would lead to an end result of strengthening both fields and improving patient care, and radiation oncology vendors were ready to show how their products can improve diagnosis and treatment. Here are a variety of technology solutions from the exhibit show floor.

Siemens Medical Solutions highlighted its PRIMATOM System, a multifunctional configuration consisting of a Siemens PRIMUS Linear Accelerator and a SOMATOM CT Scanner with Sliding Gantry.

Siemens also displayed the BEAMVIEW TI Electronic Portal Imaging Device (BEAMVIEW TI EPID) is used to improve the quality of patient treatments by assuring accurate placement of the radiation beam, field alignment on the patient and any beam shaping devices. BEAMVIEW TI adds Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) workflow benefits such as the ability to check accuracy of field placement prior to daily treatment, providing real-time anatomical verification, automatic patient set-up and referenced image display option, and a large detector size.

Siemens also showcased the KonRad inverse planning application for IMRT. Due to its accuracy and advanced modeling of the multileaf collimator (MLC), KonRad is the preferred inverse planning solution for all Siemens linacs. The IMFAST software accounts for MLC characteristics to optimize beam fluence distribution and help minimize the time needed to deliver IMRT. SIMTEC IMRT and SIMTEC IM-MAXX each provide the mechanism for fast, accurate and verifiable delivery of IMRT.

Lastly, the LANTIS Oncology Management System provides a full suite of information management tools designed specifically for the oncology care provider.

TeraMedica Healthcare Technology showcased its new Evercore Oncology Information Manager, which integrates and manages all radiation oncology and radiation therapy (RT) information objects, and now includes the RT ION objects into a single cohesive infrastructure. The integrated clinical focus includes connectivity of data sets from traditional radiology modalities, including CT and MR, along with departmental PACS, linear accelerators, tomotherapy units, cone beam CTs, and proton beam generators. The aggregated device information is then seamlessly linked to treatment planning systems and oncology information systems.

Evercore uses the SmartStore Clinical Policy Engine, which allows the classification of radiation oncology objects dependent on the object's inherent departmental value, which may include classification due to clinical or research relativity. As a result, Evercore is a new type of clinically oriented information lifecycle manager. It supports physician acceptance while optimizing storage area networks and delivering consolidated information to the EMR or other HL7-based systems.

Thinking Systems introduced a range of enhancements to its multimodality, web-based ThinkingPACS specific to nuclear medicine use. The company introduced support for co-registration and fusion of independently acquired images in a full range of modalities, including PET and SPECT. Clinicians often fuse studies of oncology patients with different modalities such as MR and PET, PET and PET, and CT and CT, and any other combination. The system also offers maximum intensity projection 3D for a quick overview of a lesion's location.

Varian Medical Systems Inc. demonstrated elements of its DART solution for dynamic adaptive radiotherapy - an approach for using up-to-date image data to adapt a cancer patient's treatment based on constantly-evolving information about changes in tumor shape, size, and position.

The company also showcased the new ARIA Oncology Information Management System, a comprehensive, real-time management system and database product for operating filmless and paperless cancer clinics that offer radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and/or surgery. Availability is slated for mid-2006.