M.D. Anderson Cancer Center-Orlando utilizes new helical tomotherapy system

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M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Orlando, Fla., has begun using a procedure called tomotherapy -- a form of image-guided intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) -- to treat patients with head, neck, prostate, lung and/or breast cancer.

Patrick Kupelian, M.D., radiation oncologist and project leader for the tomotherapy project at M. D. Anderson-Orlando, said helical tomotherapy "is the future of image-guided IMRT and is an important step forward in cancer treatment."

The facility uses a TomoTherapy HI-ART system developed by TomoTherapy Inc., a University of Wisconsin technology transfer company that created helical tomotherapy.

Tomotherapy means "slice therapy" and gets its name from tomography, or cross-sectional imaging. The system is the first device to provide 3D imaging immediately before treatment to verify the location of a tumor. Because the physician can accurately visualize the target areas, position adjustments can be made just prior to treatment.

"With this groundbreaking technology, treatments become more precise so that radiation can be altered to compensate for patient movement and the changing shape of the tumor being treated," said Clarence H. Brown III, M.D., president and CEO of M. D. Anderson-Orlando. "This translates into fewer side effects and may allow patients to complete their course of treatment in a shorter period of time."

M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Orlando -- part of Orlando Regional Healthcare -- is affiliated with The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Orlando Regional is a 1,640-bed community-owned, not-for-profit organization that serves more than 500,000 central Florida residents and some 4,500 international patients.