New research has shown that the lung tumor shifts position from day to day during the course of treatment (baseline shift). Elekta said that the new technology treats lesions with a continuous radiation beam, increasing therapy accuracy while using less imaging radiation during treatment delivery.

Doctors often have had to use external skin surface markers or implanted markers to estimate lung tumor position during the breathing cycle and then apply the beam during certain points in the patient’s respiration. The strategies require complex, time-consuming planning and delivery, and prolong treatment with an inefficient stop-start (gated) beam delivery.

Dee Mathieson, senior vice president of oncology business line management, said: “Elekta’s XVI Symmetry and XVI Intuity completely change the approach when it comes to the treatment of lung tumors. Symmetry provides tools to manage shifts in the relative positions of the tumor and organs-at-risk during the respiratory cycle, and Intuity ensures that not only is the tumor’s position accounted for, but also the position of nearby healthy critical structures. This contributes to a more patient-friendly and safe treatment.”

Intuity and Symmetry were developed in collaboration with Elekta’s clinical partner, The Netherlands Cancer Institute Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital (NKI-AvL), in Amsterdam. Both XVI tools are designed to enhance the clinician’s confidence in aggressively treating cancer, while limiting undue exposure to healthy tissues. The results can lead to better patient outcomes and quality of life.

XVI Symmetry and XVI Intuity are feature sets of version 4.5 of Elekta’s X-ray Volume Imaging (XVI) package of software solutions for Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT). XVI 4.5 recently received 510(k) clearance and CE marking, to enable sales and distribution in the US and Europe.

Jan-Jakob Sonke of NKI-AvL, who with his colleagues developed the technology behind Symmetry, said: “Traditional external markers in lung cancer radiation therapy don’t account for baseline shifts of the tumor throughout the course of the treatment sessions. Symmetry captures image data during the breathing phase and performs sophisticated computations to provide 4D data. This data helps to visualize the tumor position in each phase of the respiratory cycle to arrive at an average position of the tumor for each treatment.”