Healing with high-tech
A precise application of the therapy beam to the tumor is the most essential trait of ion beam therapy. Therefore, it is imperative to position the patient to the nearest millimeter to the beam and to closely observe the position during the whole treatment. MedAustron is going to be the first Ion Beam Therapy Center worldwide to use completely new medical systems for these tasks. These systems allow a swift, safe and precise treatment in its most modern form. They ensure that the treatment outcome can be obtained as convenient as possible for the patient.
To position the patient as precisely as possible to the beam and to closely observe the position during the whole treatment, MedAustron is using completely new medical systems: The “exacure” system of the Reutlingen BEC GmbH as well as the Imaging Ring of the Salzburg company medPhoton.
An industry robot adapted especially for medical use is the core element of the patient positioning system. It securely positions the patient for the treatment in the irradiation room. Its most distinctive feature is the ceiling mounted robot which can execute movements in seven independent directions. The robot can not only be moved into all three spatial directions but also move the whole system along the ceiling to and from the beam nozzle. Also, the couch table can be tilted and rotated. This allows to position the patient even more flexibly for an optimal treatment outcome. Another advantage deriving from the ceiling-mounted system is the optical supervision system: the position of the couch table is checked 500 times a second and can be corrected in real time, if necessary. This increases the safety of the treatment.
An Imaging Ring – the first of its kind in its compactness – verifies the correct position of the patient prior to irradiation. It also takes account of the daily condition of the patient with the most possible accuracy. This Cone Beam – CT is assembled directly to the couch table. The unique construction contains a flat screen detector and an x-ray tube assembled to a ring which can be moved independently. The CT delivers three-dimensional pictures of the highest quality, which are necessary for the exact positioning of the patient. These pictures are compared with data of the irradiation plan and will, if necessary, correct the position of the patient. The irradiation of the tumor can be ensured to the millimeter, as planned by the medical team.