A new state-of-the-art linear accelerator, combined with Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT), an advanced radiation oncology technology, puts the Ceylinco Healthcare Centre - Radiation Treatment Unit at the forefront of radiation therapy treatment in Sri Lanka.
The Varian Clinac iX linear accelerator, developed by Varian Medical Systems, is one of the most stable and proven machines in the world. It has over 5,000 installations around the world and is used to treat thousands of patients.
Patients at Ceylinco Healthcare Centre are now able to safely receive higher doses of radiation treatment, better targeting of tumors and in some cases the possibility of a reduced number of treatment through the Varian Clinac iX linear accelerator.
A sophisticated internal computer network system links treatment planning, physics, and the CT (Computerized Tomography) simulator in Radiation Oncology, enabling the radiation oncologist to plan the most effective and accurate treatment for a patient. Once the treatment is approved, the information is sent to the linear accelerator. Technicians then rely on automated lead sleeves situated in a three-dimensional multi-leaf system to replace the old lead blocks.
The Primus accelerator can also be used for portal imaging, thus, eliminating the need for costly film. A data storage bank contains all record-keeping, monitoring and analysis.
The machine not only eliminates the process of manufacturing the blocks, but also reduces staff exposure to lead and hours of treatment preparation. Patients benefit from both advanced technology and a 50% reduction in treatment time.
A patient treated with traditional radiation therapy ensued lead blocks attached to the accelerator that were used to block normal tissue from undue radiation exposure. Blocks were painstakingly and individually manufactured by technicians for the various fields being treated and it was not uncommon for technicians to spend hours fabricating the blocks and verifying their accuracy before a patient could even begin treatment. During treatment time, therapists would often have to re-enter the treatment room to change the blocks and set the patient up again, a process which lengthened a patient’s time on the treatment table.
With the computerized accelerator, one programs the computer for each individual patient, and then he/she can continue with their treatment everyday without further input. It eliminates the possibility of inaccurate data entry. If any data is entered that doesn’t correspond to the initial approved plan it is discarded.
IMRT technology improves radiation treatment by making the direction of the beam so precise that surrounding normal tissue is spared from radiation. Oncologists can decide where to provide peak doses and lower doses and can also confidently maximize the amount of radiation to the tumor, as side effects, resulting from radiation to normal tissue is minimized.
IMRT technology has already been applied to patients with prostate cancer and head and neck cancer at major academic institutions. Good results are also anticipated in treating breast cancer because high dose radiation can be given without damaging any major organs.
IMRT is a major advance in radiation oncology technology because it allows precision in dosage, which was previously impossible to produce. IMRT breaks the irradiation field into hundreds of pixels and allows the physician to control the dose within each pixel. We are proud to be one of the few hospitals in Asia to purchase a linear accelerator and a new treatment planning system with IMRT capability.