Duke Fights Tumors With New Technology
Duke is the first medical center in the world to utilize a new, non-invasive technology for radiosurgery to target brain tumors and other tumors.
Using the Novalis Tx system, which arrived at Duke in spring 2008, John Kirkpatrick, MD, PhD; John Sampson, MD, PhD; Fang Fang Yin, PhD, and their colleagues have developed innovative treatment techniques that deliver radiation to brain tumors and other tumors with extreme precision.
The system works by delivering high-energy, precisely shaped beams of radiation to the tumor from multiple directions. This allows the physician to target the tumor precisely and minimize damage to healthy surrounding tissue.
"The goal of radiation therapy has always been to maximize the dose of radiation to the tumor while sparing healthy tissue," says Kirkpatrick, clinical director of radiation oncology.
"The systems that we are using now are dramatic improvements over the tools that were available just five years ago, and the Novalis Tx is considered the best of this new generation. With this system, we can safely, accurately and efficiently deliver high-dose radiation, maximizing killing of cancer cells and minimizing the side effects of radiation therapy for our patients."
Treatment with the new, noninvasive technology takes approximately one hour as opposed to six hours for preparation and treatment with the prior process. Patients are fitted with a custom mask which reduces the anxiety of the halo brace that was previously used.