ASTRO 06 Preview
Elekta’s Leksell Gamma Knife PerfexionThe 48th American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) annual meeting kicks off from Nov. 5-9 in Philadelphia. The conference carries the theme “Topographic and Biologic Targeting in Radiation Oncology.”

In addition to a number of keynote speeches, throughout the week the scientific program will feature oral abstract presentations, poster discussions, poster presentations, panel discussions, educational sessions, and leading technology. The conference will endeavor to dig deep into its core theme — through the use of imaging and precise radiotherapy — of targeting biological signaling pathways and tumor topography. In addition, the conference will feature a day-long look at multimodality therapies for head and neck cancer to improve treatment outcomes.

ASTRO also gives attendees a chance to interact with an assortment of vendors and get information about their products and services. Below is a sampling of what a number of vendors will bring to Philly.

Agfa HealthCare (Booth #1435) is demonstrating its CR Radiotherapy system that provides digital imaging for both digital simulation and portal imaging. The system is compatible with existing linear accelerators and conventional simulators, and is complementary to an electronic portal imaging device, providing enhanced workflow alternatives. The CR Workstation comes DICOM print and export ready. Images can be transmitted to other DICOM-compliant workstations such as treatment planning and information management systems to integrate radiotherapy within the network and to enable rapid image access for radiation oncologists/radiotherapists and physicists.

BrainLAB (Booth #1650) is showcasing its IGRT technology, the ExacTrac X-Ray 6D, which uses high-resolution, low-dose x-rays to pinpoint the tumor location seconds before treatment, automatically corrects any patient setup errors, and tracks patient movement throughout the entire procedure.

CAD Sciences (Booth #1740) is featuring its contrast-enhanced MRI for breast, prostate, and therapy monitoring. The company’s fTP (full-time-point) analysis technology calculates numerical (and consequently measurable) values for vascular permeability and extracellular volume fraction, which are key physiological indicators of cancer.

Eastman Kodak Company (Booth #1419) is showing enhancements to the dosimetry package for its KODAK 2000RT CR Plus System. With this optional dosimetry feature, physicists can perform a wide range of beam and IMRT quality assurance procedures in addition to the CR platform’s existing ability to capture portal localization, verification, and simulation images. Kodak’s 2000RT CR Plus System features enhanced communications capabilities for facilities that need to integrate treatment images with existing information systems.

Elekta (Booth #2000) is showcasing its Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion for stereotactic radiosurgery that was recently granted FDA pre-market clearance. The system provides a platform for further refinement and expansion of radiosurgery procedures in the brain, cervical spine, and head and neck regions. Compared to previous models, the system allows for dramatically increased treatable volume.

GE Healthcare (Booth #563/919) is displaying its AdvantageSIM MD, which is able to accomplish motion management by integrating 4D data into the planning process and provide multi-modality/multi-phase simulation for the optimal use of treatment methods such as IMRT and IGRT. GE also is highlighting its new wide-bore CT platform including the LightSpeed RT16 that enables advanced imaging for radiation therapy, and the LightSpeed Xtra, a 16-slice CT scanner designed for interventional and bariatric procedures.

Impac Medical Systems (Booth #2109) is showcasing MOSAIQ, an image-enabled oncology EMR with fully integrated business features such as scheduling, billing, and management reporting and analysis. Other IMPAC products being displayed include MOSAIQ Oncology PACS, SYNERGISTIQ IGRT workstation, and ANALYTIQ data visualization tool. Each of these systems optimize radiation therapy clinical and business processes.

MEDRAD (Booth #958) is showcasing its endorectal coil for 3.0T magnetic resonance (MR) prostate imaging. The 3.0T Prostate eCoil is available for GE Healthcare’s Signa HDx 3.0T MR scanners. MEDRAD designed the 3.0T Prostate eCoil to produce very accurate diagnostic images of the prostate that may enable early diagnosis and staging of prostate cancer. The 3.0T Prostate eCoil also can be used to plan radiation therapy in a way that helps physicians localize treatment to only the affected part of the gland. The coil also is available for 1.5T systems.

Philips Medical Systems (Booth #1001) is showcasing the Philips Oncology CT with the company’s Tumor LOC application that allows users to assess motion of respiratory correlated studies. Other technologies being highlighted include Pinnacle3 Workstation version 8.0; AcQSim3 Phase II — an advanced 3D CT for radiation therapy simulation and treatment planning for cancer patients; intensity modulated radiation therapy  planning software, P3IMRT; and Syntegra software that speeds the exchange of data between radiology and radiation oncology departments and aligns oncology diagnosis and radiation therapy patient simulation and planning.

Siemens Medical Solutions (Booth #1719) is highlighting its Megavoltage Cone Beam (MVCB) imaging package and emphasizing its MVision adaptive radiation therapy (ART) system. MVision is a volumetric in-line target imaging system designed to work with Siemens’ linear accelerators. MVision makes it possible for the megavoltage source used for treatment to also create a 3D image of the patient.

Toshiba America Medical Systems (Booth #401) is showcasing its Aquilion Large Bore (LB) system. With a 90-cm and a 70-cm acquired field of view, the Aquilion LB makes it possible to accurately scan patients of all sizes during CT simulation.

VIDAR Systems (Booth #1309) is showcasing its DosimetryPRO Advantage x-ray film digitizer with a 32-bit data path that outputs 16 bits of grayscale data. The system creates images with 65,536 shades of gray, providing more information in the prenumbral regions. This means that dose levels to adjacent tissues can be more accurately measured. It also means that leaf leakage in multi-leaf collimator systems are easier to measure.

Varian Medical Systems (Booth #563/919) is exhibiting its image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) system On-Board Imager. The system offers three imaging modalities that make it possible to pinpoint the exact location of the targeted tumor every day prior to treatment; note any changes in tumor size, shape, or position; and track tumor motion to enhance treatment precision.