The Average Life Expectancy of Elekta Linear Accelerator Parts

Over the past few years, companies that produce linear accelerators have been focusing on the service and maintenance areas as the primary source of their business plan. Not surprisingly, service contract sales have increased yearly for all linear accelerator companies. As this is beneficial to investors in this space, it doesn’t help the owners of the equipment and medical professionals that use them in their practice.

Many hospitals and clinics are looking for ways to decrease the cost of maintenance and service repairs. The cost of linear accelerator parts and servicing them can get quite pricey, and it can be quite easy to go over-budget very quickly. 

This article will break down the main components that will eventually need to be replaced or serviced in the Elekta linear accelerator and will assist those places looking to do their own maintenance. This will help lower the cost of maintenance and allow for more accurate budget forecasting. 

Below is the average lifespan of a variety of parts that will eventually need to be serviced or replaced and what you can expect of their overall lifetime value. 

Parts:

Magnetron: 

High use system (35+ patients /day): 2 Years 

Moderate use system (<30 patients/day): 5-6 Years

Low use system (15 patients /day): 5-6 Years

X-ray Tube: 

High use system (35+ patients /day): 18 Months                       

Moderate use system (<30 patients/day): 3 Years

Low use system (15 patients /day): 4+ Years

XVI Detector: 

High use system (35+ patients /day): 5 years

Moderate use system (<30 patients/day): 7 Years

Low use system (15 patients /day): 10+ Years

iView Detector: 

High use system (35+ patients /day): 2 Years

Moderate use system (<30 patients/day): 4 Years

Low use system (15 patients /day): 4 Years

Electron Gun: 

High use system (35+ patients /day): 1 year

Moderate use system (<30 patients/day): N/A

Low use system (15 patients /day): N/A

Thyratron Tube: 

High use system (35+ patients /day): 3 Years

Moderate use system (<30 patients/day): 5 years

Low use system (15 patients /day): 5+ Years

Reflectors: 

High use system (35+ patients /day): 2-3 Years

Moderate use system (<30 patients/day): 2-3 Years

Low use system (15 patients /day): N/A

MLC Camera: 

High use system (35+ patients /day): 2-3 Years (Old Type); Much Longer Now

Moderate use system (<30 patients/day): 2-3 Years (Old Type); Much Longer Now Low use system (15 patients /day): N/A

Depending on your Elekta linear accelerator, the magnetron has considerably different life expectancy expectations. New magnetrons usually are not equipped with a feedback system, which will need to be replaced with 3-4 years. The 18MV, however, is an older machine that has a feedback system that can last up to 10 years. 

The ion chamber of the Elekta part is sensitive to indoor climate and the region in which it is located. High humidity can shorten its lifespan by two-thirds, with a typical chamber lasting within four years and one in higher humidity levels as low as one year. 

High use on a linear accelerator can wear on the electron gun and may need to be replaced within a year, but if not used as frequently can last over six years. 

The thyratron tube is the part that produces the pulses to the electron gun and is one of the most critical components of any linear accelerator. Surprisingly the thyratron tube has a consistent lifespan regardless of usage. The baseline expectation is three years, with a possible stretch of five years if properly taken care of.

Daily patient volume significantly affects the X-ray tube’s lifespan, and lower levels of usage will allow several years of operation before needing to be replaced.

Newer models of the Elekta linear accelerator include Versa and the Infinity/Axesse. The VersaHD is still relatively new in terms of linear accelerator world, and many of its components still have yet to be determined for life expectancy. However, looking at earlier models can help gauge these expectations. 

As with all linear accelerators, usage levels will affect the lifespan of the individual components. The main factors that will affect your parts will be humidity levels, patient loads, and dose rates. 

If you need parts to your Elekta linear accelerator, visit Radparts.com. Radparts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts for linear accelerators and radiation oncology equipment.

Updates on the Radiation Markets with a Focus on LINAC

According to ResearchAndMarkets.com, a marketing research provider to businesses, the global radiation therapy market is expected to reach $10.11 billion in 2024, witnessing growth at CAGR of 3.38% over the period 2020-2024. Surging cancer cases, rising healthcare expenditure, economic and population growth with expanding urbanization are predicted to lead the global radiation therapy markets. However, a hindrance to these areas could be expected with stringent regulations and barriers to implementation. 

Advancements in technology, increasing preference towards non-invasive procedures, and public awareness, could be a few notable trends and are likely to develop over the next few years. The global radiation markets can be categorized into external beam radiation therapy, internal beam radiation therapy, and systemic radiotherapy. The external beam radiation therapy market is segregated both by type and device. 

Depending on the type, the global external beam market is segmented into the following categories: intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), tomotherapy, stereotactic radiosurgery, stereotactic body radiation therapy, and proton therapy. The global external beam radiation therapy market is also categorized into three areas – LINAC (Linear Accelerators), proton beam therapy devices, and compact advanced therapy devices. 

North America is the fastest-growing market because of the evolving usage in novel technologies, rising disposable income, and healthcare expenses. Rising awareness regarding procedures and sophisticated diagnostic approaches is a big part of the growth in this market. Europe comes in second for the largest market in radiation therapy and has already expanded into deeper economic levels. Radiation therapy treatment products and linear accelerator parts are expected to grow along with the trend in these developing market economies. 

For more information, read more at https://www.itnonline.com/content/radiation-therapy-market-update-focus-linac

Scientists Create a Particle Accelerator That Fits on a Chip

Scientists at Stanford and SLAC have created a silicon chip that can accelerate electrons by using an infrared laser to deliver a similar energy boost that takes microwaves many feet.

In a January issue of Science, a team led by an electrical engineer, Jelena Vuckovic, conveyed how he carved a nanoscale channel out of silicon, sealed it in a vacuum and sent electrons through an opening while beams of infrared light were transmitted by the channel walls to speed the electrons along.

The accelerator-on-a-chip demonstrated in Science is just a prototype. However, Vuckovic said its design and fabrication techniques could be scaled up to deliver particle beams accelerated enough to perform cutting-edge experiments in chemistry.

“The largest accelerators are like powerful telescopes. There are only a few in the world and scientists must come to places like SLAC to use them,” Vuckovic said. “We want to miniaturize accelerator technology in a way that makes it a more accessible research tool.”

“We can derive medical benefits from the miniaturization of accelerator technology in addition to the research applications,” Solgaard said.

Click here to read more about Vuckovic’s research on his discoveries regarding the silicon chip accelerator.

Radiotherapy Treatments for Bowel Cancer Patients to Be Shortened Due to COVID-19

An international panel of cancer experts has recommended a one-week treatment protocol for patients who need radiotherapy. On April 7, 2020, the group discussed the best way to minimize the additional issues that radiotherapy treatment causes, namely, weakened immune systems. Surgery, which usually happens one to two weeks after radiotherapy, can be safely delayed by up to 12 weeks, says the expert panel. 

People with bowel cancer are more susceptible to severe complications from COVID-19 because their immune systems are weakened. Shortening the length of radiotherapy replaces the need for chemotherapy, which typically can make the immune system even weaker. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a global emergency and we needed to work very quickly to identify changes that would benefit patients. Our recommendations were published 20 days after our first meeting. This process normally takes many months, if not years,” said David Sebag-Montefiore, professor of clinical oncology at the University of Leeds and who lead the panel of cancer experts. 

The panel, which was comprised of 15 top cancer professionals, showed that surgery could be safely postponed after radiotherapy from oncology equipment was performed. This protocol allows surgery to be scheduled after the peak of the pandemic. 

Read more on how radiation therapy has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic here

PTW Announces Big News for the BEAMSCAN MR

The PTW has announced the 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the BEAMSCAN MR Motorized 3D Water Phantom. The BEAMSCAN MR is now available on the market within the U.S. PTW has already completed the installation of the first item in North America located at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 

This new addition will provide a dedicated, fully equipped solution for beam data commissioning and annual QA of MR-LINACS. The center in Toronto is one of the largest cancer centers in the world. It is home to two state-of-the-art MR-LINAC systems, one being the Elekta Unity machine, which offers BEAMSCAN MR compatibility. To read more information about the BEAMSCAN MR and PTW, read this article here.

Monitoring of Patient Movement During Radiotherapy May Get Easier

Research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has found using new mmWave technology to be a great asset to perform precise monitoring of patient motion in real-time during radiotherapy treatments. The mmWave technology can monitor displacements with .1mm to 1 mm accuracy at low cost using a simple and easy to use device. Imaging with millimeter waves can overcome obstacles of current techniques like the optical tracking of a patient’s skin surface or CT scanning. This new device can also monitor breathing and cardiac motion that may, in time, replace respirometers or other breathing monitoring devices. To read more about the research and the outcome of mmWave technology, you can read this article for more information.

World Cancer Day Brings Discussions for More Affordable Radiotherapy Treatment Options

In celebration of World Cancer Day on February 4th, director of IAEA General Rafael Mariano Grossi raised awareness about radiotherapy and how widely used the treatments are throughout the world. He brought to light the fact that 1/3 of lower-to-middle-income countries do not have access to any radiotherapy treatments. A total of 28 countries in Africa do not have a single radiotherapy unit, which makes a cancer diagnosis almost a death sentence for many. It is estimated that 300,000 women die from cervical cancer each year, which needs to stop as this form of cancer can typically be treated and cured in developed countries. The IAEA continues to spread awareness and will establish nuclear and radiation medicine services and provide training to medical professionals to help change these statistics. To learn more, read this article.

New Forms of Flash Radiotherapy Being Researched

Treating cancer can be a long and tedious process with multiple procedures that need to be performed using radiation equipment such as linear accelerators. To become cancer-free, what if this process could be easier? An emerging form of treatment called FLASH radiation therapy treats a cancer patient with a similar amount of radiation normally given over weeks, dispensed at once, within a second of time. FLASH radiotherapy is found to be as effective in killing cancer cells without the continual exposure of radiation to healthy tissue. Researchers at Pennsylvania University are also studying that by changing the type of particle used in the linear accelerator from electrons to protons the treatment will penetrate deeper into the body, essentially making FLASH radiotherapy more effective in treating cancerous tumors. To read more about this new research, click here.

New Partnership for ViewRay In the Works

Plans for the partnership for radiation therapy company ViewRay with Medtronic and Elekta are in the works. News of the new joint decision has already increased ViewRay shares up 37% in the after-hours trading. The agreement is however contingent upon ViewRay raising $75 million in equity capital, so the agreement is non-binding at the time. The collaboration is hopeful for ViewRay to work with Elekta and run clinical studies to research MR-guided radiation therapy. The details of the agreement made with Medtronic are less available in this stage, but analysts believe the investments from Medtronic’s partnership show “strong signs”. To read more on this new partnership with these companies read here.