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The Feldkirch State Hospital has a new scanner to target precise radiation of tumors

The Department of Radiation Oncology and Radiation Therapy of the Feldkirch State Hospital

The above facility has installed a new scanner since a few weeks now.

The scanner helps to irradiate malignant cells in a more targeted manner. Thus it is more gentle for the surrounding tissue.

One of the major challenges in today’s radiation therapy is to irradiate more precise. The surrounding tissue which contains tumor cells is not harmed in this way.

Because the person, but also the tissue to receive a dose of radiation, moves when lying down.
While breathing the body is in constant motion.

A new surface scanner is operating at the LKH Feldkirch.
It can detect even the smallest movements in the treatment region. Radiation is only released when the “target” is at the exact calculated location.

Great benefits for breast cancer patients

“The device recognizes and calculates the patient’s surface,” explains physician Christof Kreuter.

“This enables him a more precise position. The radiologist is able to check his posture during the irradiation from the outside.”

During breathing phases the specialists can direct the beam to the exact location.

Irradiation is in a very targeted manner only in a certain breathing position.

“This is important because it spares the surrounding organs during the process.

This is important in young women with breast cancer.

In case of a tumor on the left side, the heart can protected from the irradiation field.

In a deep inhalation phase, the chest wall and heart move further apart. During this moment radiation takes place.

”When the patient exhales and the organs move closer together again, irradiation stops.

This reduces the risk that your heart may develop radiation damage decades later.

Reduce exposure areas

The exact position of the organs is measured using computed tomography. A the new laser system creates a three-dimensional surface.

The irradiation is “pre-planned” on the computer. calculated and adapted to the breathing process.

Thereafter the dose is only directed towards the accurate field.

“With the new surface scanner, it is now possible to reduce the safety distances”. The correct lying position has is of importance here.

“Radiation areas become smaller even further,” adds physicist Marco Meinschad.

“During the treatment, the computer calculates movements with millimeter precision.

The irradiation – in case a metastasis in lung cancer patients

The process is immediately interrupted if it is no longer in the correct postion.

Same happens if the tissue has shifted due to breathing.

”For the patients, this means that they can expect fewer side effects.

The risk of endangering healthy organs becomes smaller.
Increased chances of treatment

The surrounding tissue is not affected.

Treatments are even possible which were impossible before.

“In certain areas damage to lungs and liver tissue was not ruled out”.

Christof Kreuter: “The device is particularly helpful for radiosurgery. Here precision lies in a matter of individual millimeters.

In future, the surface scanner will thus increase the chances of treatment. “

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