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‘Treating Cancer While Preserving Quality of Life’

Some 12,000 attendees are expected to fill the Los Angeles Convention Center for ASTRO’s 49th Annual Meeting, Oct. 28 –Nov. 1. This year’s theme, “Treating Cancer While Preserving Quality of Life,” embraces all aspects of oncologic care.

Educational opportunities abound at the premier scientific meeting in radiation oncology. Nearly 1,300 abstracts are being presented in plenary sessions, oral presentations, poster discussion sessions and poster viewings. Additionally, more than 260 exhibitors are showcasing the latest in technology and product development in cancer treatment and care.

Among the highlights at ASTRO’s 49th Annual Meeting is the Presidential Course on Sunday, Oct. 28, titled “Organ and Function Preservation in the Management of Cancer.” The program explains innovative approaches to function preservation in patients with gastrointestinal, lung, prostate and head and neck cancers, as well as musculoskeletal and spine tumors.

On Monday, Oct. 29, healthcare policy expert Victor Fuchs, MA, PhD, Stanford University, delivers the conference’s first keynote address, “Better than Band-Aids: America Needs Comprehensive Healthcare Reform.”

David Sidransky, MD, of Johns Hopkins University, gives Wednesday’s keynote presentation, “Integration of Molecular Diagnostic Approaches in Cancer from Bench to Bedside.” Sidransky is a professor of otolaryngology—head and neck surgery, oncology, pathology, cellular and molecular medicine and urology—as well as the director of Head and Neck Cancer Research at Hopkins and principal investigator, Johns Hopkins Head and Neck Cancer SPORE.

ASTRO’S pre-conference program on Saturday, Oct. 27, features the eASTRO Computer Learning Lab where attendees have the opportunity to learn from leading contouring experts in the fields of head and neck cancers, GYN cancers, 4D therapy and prostate cancer.

Vendor Highlights

BrainLab (Booth 223) is featuring its Exac Trac X-Ray 6D image-guided radiation therapy system which enables physicians to pinpoint tumors with increased accuracy and treat a wide variety of indications, including in the prostate, lung, liver and spine. BrainLab technology uses high-resolution, low-dose x-rays, automatically corrects any patient set-up errors and tracts patient movement throughout the procedures.

Carestream PACS features real-time 3D capabilities.

Carestream Health (Booth 1219) is demonstrating advanced features of its Kodak Carestream PACS that include a new image fusion application for PET/CT imaging and enhancements to native real-time 3D capabilities. The company is exhibiting its Kodak 2000RT CR Plus, a computed radiography system that supports multiple treatment rooms and multiple linear accelerators and simulation devises. The Kodak Radiation Oncology Beam Dosimetry Package allows physicists to perform a wide range of machine, beam and IMRT QA imaging along with the CR platform’s ability to capture portal localization, verification and simulation images required for radiation therapy patients. 

CMS (Booth 2219) is showcasing its comprehensive 3D and IMRT treatment planning platform, XiO, which combines the latest tools and robust dose calculation algorithms with a user-friendly interface. XiO’s integrated planning capabilities support a range of treatment modalities, including 3D, MLC-based IMRT (both sliding window and step-and-shoot), solid compensator-based IMRT, brachytherapy, and proton therapy. XiO leverages the speed and performance capabilities of the Linux operating system and the processing power of dual Intel processors to deliver superior 3D image rendering, real-time image manipulation, and rapid calculation times. XiO supports proton as well as conventional photon and electron planning.

PET/CT image of a tumor of the colon acquired with the GE Discovery VCT.

GE Healthcare (Booth 909) is exhibiting the LightSpeed RT 16 featuring wide-bore capacities including thin, high-resolution multidetector imaging, 4D retrospective respiratory gathering capability and advanced oncology applications. Discovery VCT for PET/CT provides a complete set of clinical applications to help physicians provide accurate disease diagnosis, staging, treatment planning and follow up. PET VCAR offers workflow enhancements for single- and multi-exam review. AdvantageSim MD featuring Advantage 4D, helps clinicians to plan in 4D, utilize multiple modalities simultaneously and combine