ASTRO 2005 Preview

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The American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) is gathering for its annual meeting this month in Denver (Oct. 16-20) and looking to draw as many as 10,000 radiation oncology professionals from the world over. Attendees will see a plethora of new products and technologies at the meeting, along with an abundance of educational programs covering such topics as investigational and experimental therapeutics, intensity modulated radiation therapy, functional imaging, radiation treatment planning, alternative fractionation, and molecular and radiation biology. Here is a selection of products, listed in alphabetical order by vendor.

Cedara Software (Booth #1475) is showcasing an oncology suite targeted specifically towards quantitative tumor measurements and therapeutic processes. Among the OEM solutions showcased will be technologies for tumor board review, image management, PET/CT fusion, image guided radiotherapy, therapy response assessment for personalized treatment planning, patient follow-up management and support for longitudinal studies.

Codonics (Booth #1116) is featuring its multi-media dry imager Horizon, which is designed to simplify imaging and improve workflow for oncology at a total lower cost of ownership.
Horizon incorporates a film printer, a paper printer and a color printer into one medical imager with laser quality images but at direct thermal prices. Printing 14-by-17-inch and 8-by-10-inch blue and clear film, the imager is suited for DR and portal imaging requirements.  The imager weighs less than 70 pounds and takes up less than two feet of desk space.

Horizon can help facilities with the transition to reduced film usage with Codonics' DirectVista Paper. This photo-weight paper can be used instead of a lightbox, and provides up to 70 percent savings over film.

Eastman Kodak Co. (Booth #1327) is showcasing its Radiation Oncology Beam Dosimetry Package. This software on the KODAK 2000RT CR Plus System allows physicists to perform a wide range of beam and IMRT QA procedures - along with the platform's existing ability to capture portal localization, verification and simulation images required for radiation therapy patients. 

A software upgrade for the 2000RT CR Plus also is available. New features include:

  • DICOM RT Support, which allows the smooth transfer and exchange of information with oncology image management systems and facilitates communication with other DICOM-compatible planning systems and imaging modalities;
  • Ability to import treatment planning system DRR images for easy side-by-side comparison with port images;
  • Remote annotation allows oncologists to make comments at a remote workstation and save modified images to the database;
  • Powerful search capabilities facilitate the creation of a worklist to improve productivity at sites that do not have their own image management system.  

Elekta (Booth #1337) is debuting at ASTRO the next generation of Elekta Synergy with new software workflow tools for 4D Adaptive IGRT (image guided radiation therapy). The improvements in cone-beam image quality and almost instantaneous reconstruction of large volumetric images indicate the company's system can fit into normal radiation oncology treatment times.

Elekta provides customers the power to routinely apply all three IGRT imaging modes to address complex inter- and intra-fraction motion in an integrated platform, the Elekta Synergy. Components include:

  • PlanarView for quick orthogonal snapshots of patient anatomy;
  • MotionView provides fluoroscopic-like, real-time monitoring of high contrast tumors or internal organs in order; and
  • VolumeView allows for very high-resolution volumetric images with more than 25cm of anatomy visible in the cranial/caudal direction for highly precise 3D anatomic alignment. 

Huestis Medical (Booth #701) is showcasing its IMRT delivery system workstation that includes the Compu•cutter and Compu•former. The company has developed the system for radiotherapy teams who require accuracy, dependability and affordability. The system uses digitized files to cut shielding block molds with ± 1mm accuracy.

Huestis Medical also will be displaying the Styro•former, radiotherapy block cutters for precision shielding which features a handheld tracing stylus allows quick radiograph outlining to provide a smooth and efficient block cutting procedure.

Finally, the company is showing its Flexi•holder x-ray cassette holders which are built