New Study Finds Promising Treatment Improvement for Prostate Cancer
One of the treatment methods of prostate cancer involves the use of radiotherapy. In order for the radiotherapy to be successful, the accurate position of the tumor must be known. This allows the radiation to avoid irradiation of the healthy tissue surrounding the cancerous tissue. A new study led by professor Paul Keall and his team from the University of Sydney managed to accurately pinpoint the location of prostate tumors within 0.5 mm.
The new prostate cancer technique, called KIM (Kilovoltage Intrafraction Monitoring), was used on a group of 10 patients. The method uses X-rays in order to accurately measure the position of markers previously implanted in the prostate through a new calculation method that uses 2D and 3D imaging.
This technology was first developed in 2008, at Stanford University, by professor Paul Keall and professor Per Poulsen. The current study is conducted through the collaboration of the University of Sydney, Aarhus University from Denmark and the Royal North Shore Hospital.
According to the results of the study, an overall accuracy of over 0.5 mm has been achieved. These results indicate that the new technology is more accurate than other commercial systems that monitor prostate cancer. Another advantage offered by the Kilovoltage Intrafraction Monitoring system is the predicted low-cost of the routine. This is achieved through the use of readily available radiation therapy equipment.
“KIM is exciting for patients because it’s going to open up a new area of radiation oncology, real-time tumor tracking, but, it could potentially be available to all cancer radiotherapy patients that are treated using standard machines”, said Dr Thomas Eade, one of the radiation oncologists at the Royal North Shore Hospital.
A small amount of imaging dose is added through the use of the Kilovoltage Intrafraction Monitoring system X-rays. Professor Keall notes that further improvement in the accuracy of the system is possible with an even lower imaging does. He added that the current system has been implemented within several constrains, such as an existing clinical cancer radiotherapy system. According to the research team, there are already new ideas to increase the accuracy of the system.
The plans for the near future are to use the information provided by KIM to pause and adjust the radiation beam used in radiotherapy when the prostate cancer position changes. The ultimate plan of the research team is to be able to use the information gathered through the KIM system to continuously align the radiation beam without having to pause the treatment.