Siemens unwraps oncology offerings
Siemens Medical Solutions unveiled a portfolio of new oncology tools and systems for cancer care, including a selection of works-in-progress devices and applications, at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) conference in Los Angeles this week.

The multimodality developer highlighted its CTVision, an upgraded version of the Primatom system that brings high-contrast image guidance to radiation treatment delivery by integrating a linear accelerator and a CT that travels along rails. The system uses CT image guidance to enable diagnostic imaging of the patient on the treatment table and eliminates the need to move a patient from room to room for separate exams.

Equipped with the latest Adaptive Targeting software, CTVision allows direct comparison of daily patient anatomy to the original planning data, thereby opening up opportunities to implement benchmark concepts such as daily replanning, Siemens said. CTVision — which generally uses a Somatom Sensation Open — is ideal for larger patients. With an 82-centimeter bore and a table weight capacity of 550 lbs, people of all shapes and sizes can benefit from the system’s fast scan times and 4D gating support, according to the firm.

An alternative approach to image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), Siemens’ MVision Megavoltage Cone Beam Imaging Package is a volumetric in-line target imaging solution that employs the existing treatment beam to provide 3D target imaging. Offered on the complete line of Siemens’ linear accelerators, MVision provides the 3D soft-tissue contrast necessary for many disease sites, allowing for accurate patient position verification and adjustment, Siemens said.
For kV imaging, the works-in-progress In-Line kVision Kilovoltage Cone Beam Imaging Solution is designed to deliver 3D soft-tissue contrast, particularly for pelvic and thoracic targeting. By visualizing the target in-line (rotated 180 degrees), the kV geometry streamlines imaging workflow and provides open access to the patient.

Another addition to Siemens’ works-in-progress portfolio at ASTRO is the PreScision Stereotactic Solution, which will be available on most Siemens linear accelerators. PreScision will enable physicians to deliver greater amounts of radiation in fewer treatment fractions. This ultimately means less time on the treatment for patients and a complete course of radiation therapy in fewer visits. For example, current linear accelerators can deliver 300 MU of radiation per minute, but with the PreScision, radiation oncologists will be able to deliver fast hypofractionation with a maximum dose rate of 2,000 MU per minute, the firm said.

Two more works-in-progress rounded out the firm’s display of upcoming technologies and systems: a comprehensive particle therapy solution and a robotic patient positioning system. Particle therapy uses protons and carbon ions to treat tumors which cannot be treated successfully by surgery or conventional radiation therapy. Siemens is proposing an integrated diagnostic imaging, planning, simulation, treatment and follow-up particle therapy suite.

Another new product in the arena, Siemens Robotic Patient Positioning System, provides for precision radiation therapy delivery through patient positioning and a Panoramic Beam Scanning Application.

The company demonstrated enhancements to its syngo Suite for Oncology at ASTRO, including its new TrueD application. Designed for the diagnosis, staging and assessment of cancer treatment response, the new syngo TrueD allows users to simultaneously fuse and compare up to three PET/CT and SPECT/CT studies to examine anatomical or functional changes resulting from cancer therapy. It also integrates MRI and traditional nuclear medicine studies, and streamlines workflow by exporting the gated images to radiation therapy planning systems.

The respiratory gating capabilities of the software allows physicians to visualize the tumor and the surrounding normal tissue movement during normal breathing, helping to more accurately define radiation therapy target and spare healthy tissue when planning treatment, Siemens said.

The developer is also spotlighting enhancements to its line of PET/CT and SPECT/CT systems at the ASTRO conference this week. The Biograph TruePoint line of PET/CT systems with HD•PET is showcasing expanded oncology capabilities and the firm is highlighting a new 16-slice configuration of its Symbia TruePoint SPECT/CT system, which features speeds of up to 0.6 seconds per rotation.

Siemens is discussing its customer service offerings with attendees at ASTRO. Through its partnership with Oncology Services International, Siemens provides service, installation and upgrade support to its oncology customers in the United States. As a result of this agreement, Siemens offers service support not only for its own systems, but also for equipment from other major manufacturers of linear accelerators.

Additional customer service products include Velocity Data Collection and Beam Modeling services, which provide Siemens customers with a solution that can decrease their acceptance testing time from three weeks to as little as three days, the firm said. The company’s Momentum Physics Support services, including Momentum intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and Momentum IGRT training, enable its customers to perform IMRT and IGRT treatments shortly after equipment installation.

 “Siemens oncology solutions provide one of the most important components of oncology care: Choice,” said Holger Schmidt, president of Siemens’ Oncology Care Solutions Division. “Since every patient’s therapeutic needs are different, we offer physicians the technological flexibility and confidence they need to take personalized care to a new level.”