Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital Delivers IMRT with Turnkey Elekta Solution

PreciseBEAM IMRT and Pinnacle3 Streamline Clinical IMRT

NORCROSS, Ga., Sept. 26, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northwestern Memorial Hospital at Northwestern University (Chicago, Ill.) has deployed a turnkey solution from Elekta and Philips Medical Systems (formerly ADAC Laboratories) to deliver Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) for selected prostate and head & neck cancer patients. Additionally, clinicians there have treated some pediatric cases. After two months of clinical treatments, the staff is encouraged by their experience.

New step for well-established IMRT program

This complete clinical solution for IMRT was developed through a strategic alliance between Elekta and Philips Medical Systems (formerly ADAC). Pinnacle3(r) is the treatment planning system and supports both step-by-step forward and inverse planning.

For over two years, Northwestern has been delivering IMRT on Precise Treatment System(tm), Elekta's state of the art linear accelerator, with an add-on, micro-MLC attachment, and a third-party planning solution. With the new turnkey solution however, clinicians create plans on Pinnacle3(r). The system determines the Elekta MLC prescription, and eliminates the need for an add-on device.

Once a plan is complete, clinicians transfer the prescription over their local area network to Elekta's Desktop via DICOM RT data exchange for delivery on an Elekta Precise Treatment System with PreciseBEAM(r) IMRT. Prescriptions are verified before delivery with three-dimensional phantoms. Depending on the target site, the treatments range from eight to nine beams per plan, with 60 to 90 beam segments in total. In most cases, therapists need not enter the treatment room at all to deliver the entire treatment.

Turnkey solution is convenient and effective

"This new solution offers us greater efficiency and flexibility in using immobilization devices, because it maximizes clearance for the gantry," said Bharat B. Mittal, MD, Medical Director, Northwestern Memorial Hospital. "Additionally, a therapist need not enter the room to deliver the entire treatment. Prostate cases take 15 minutes to deliver, and head and neck cases take up to 20 minutes. The entire process is streamlined, and very practical."

Alan G. Kepka, Ph.D., Chief of Clinical Physics at Northwestern, says the same practicality applies to the planning process. "The ADAC system is very user-friendly in comparison to other systems," he noted. According to Dr. Kepka, a typical prostate IMRT plan takes 30 minutes to plan. While head and neck cases take longer to calculate, he says the actual demand on a planner's time is no greater than that of a conventional treatment plan.

Dr. Kepka also notes that Pinnacle3(r) produces high quality plans. He says he has achieved the same degree of rectal wall and bladder sparing, while obtaining greater dose homogeneity in the target volume with the Philips Medical Systems (formerly ADAC) than other systems he has used.

Why focus on prostate, head & neck cases?

Dr. Mittal says his team has found much positive clinical data in support of IMRT for prostate and head & neck cases. "We believe the data supports improved local control for these cases, as well as reduced toxicity for adjacent healthy tissue," he said.

Currently, Northwestern plans treatments on a case-by-case basis. But Dr. Mittal says they are considering a class solution approach, similar to the approach developed by researchers at The University of Ghent, Belgium (members of Elekta's International Consortium on Intensity Modulation). He notes that this may bring even more efficiency to the program.

Complete clinical solution makes IMRT practical

"This is a viable and consistent technology to accomplish IMRT," Dr. Mittal said. "It offers a streamlined process from planning through delivery, which makes this technique a more practical and attainable goal for many centers."

"Elekta's International Consortium on Intensity Modulation has provided the research and clinical data to make this solution possible," said Peter J. Gaccione, Vice President, Elekta North America. "Building on their research, and in partnership with Philips Medical System (formerly ADAC), we can offer a practical solution for virtually any radiotherapy department to achieve planning, simulation and clinical delivery of IMRT."

About Elekta

Elekta is a world-leading supplier of advanced and innovative radiation oncology and neurosurgery solutions for precise treatment of cancer and brain disorders. Elekta's solutions are clinically effective, cost efficient and gentle to the patient.


Contact Data