Philips unveils Brilliance CT Big Bore configuration, software upgrades
Philips Medical Solutions introduced its Brilliance CT Big Bore configuration designed specifically for radiation oncology at the 46th annual meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) this week in Atlanta.

The system's design includes an 85-cm bore and 60-cm scan field of view. This allows physicians to better target the localization and size of tumors, Philips said. Additionally, the system's 24-mm coverage with every rotation allows clinicians to isolate the area of treatment without being hindered by organ or breathing motions.

In one location, Brilliance CT Big Bore allows breast positioning, prostate treatment, respiratory gating studies, integrated absolute marking and functional CT exams, according to Philips. A CT localization (CT L.O.C.) application is directly on the console, allowing clinicians to localize the tumor and mark the patient for therapy delivery without leaving the console.

According to Robert Fenwick, director of global marketing for Philips' radiation oncology systems, The Brilliance CT Big Bore configuration is FDA approved and going into beta testing now. The system will be commercially available next summer.

Philips also showcased at ASTRO 2004 several product upgrades, including Pinnacle³ 7.4 and AcQSim³ Phase II, software designed to improve accuracy and workflow for radiation oncology.

According to Philips, the latest version of its leading radiation therapy planning system Pinnacle³ facilitates more accurate delivery of radiation to tumors. Enhancements include: conformal arc radiation planning software that allows clinicians to conform an arc of beams used to kill cancer; physics modeling tools that provide physicists with a more precise representation of their linac's parameters; and sliding window IMRT treatment planning.

Philips' new AcQSim³ workstation, to be released in early 2005, provides CT simulation tools while being integrated into the Pinnacle³ treatment planning system, eliminating the need for network transfers. AcQSim³ can be configured as a stand-alone CT simulation system or a complete simulation and external beam planning system, including 3D planning and IMRT, as well as optional Syntegra image registration, Philips said.

Other upgrades include: digitally reconstructed radiographs, digitally composited radiographs, automatic field centering, improved user interface and workflow tools, faster image processing and extended user preference settings.