Safely Using Linear Accelerators in Cancer Treatment

Linear accelerators are now widely used in treating a variety of cancers. A linear accelerator delivers directed X-rays or electrons to a tumor, destroying cancer cells while ensuring that surrounding tissue is protected. However, this type of radiation still poses risks, so how do manufacturers and operators ensure the safety of patients and operators?

All companies that manufacture linear accelerators have a strict quality control process. Systems are built to confirm that the machine will not deliver a higher dose than that prescribed by the radiation oncologist. Additionally, safety measures are designed into the linear accelerator that ensures it is impossible to turn the machine on without all the treatment conditions being met.

When a linear accelerator is installed, strict requirements must be met for the area it is situated in. For the operational staff’s safety, it is installed in a room lined with lead and concrete, and the controls for turning it on/off are situated outside of this room. Since the machine only emits radiation when turned on, this almost entirely eliminates the risk of accidental exposure.

At the start of each day and before any patient is treated, the radiation therapist makes sure that the linear accelerator is working correctly and performs checks for uniformity of the radiation intensity across the beam. In addition, a medical physicist conducts more detailed monthly and annual checks.

Another essential part of maintaining safety is keeping good records of patient exposure to the linear accelerator. All medical facilities using linear accelerators to treat cancer will ensure their staff are adequately trained and kept updated on the latest guidance on their use and safe limits for patient exposure. Reference: https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info/linac#bf774c98e5ab4192886da7fd06714070

RadParts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts. We specialize in low-cost parts for repairing linear accelerator and radiation equipment. Our mission is to provide high-quality, user-friendly, low-cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. Contact RadParts at 877-704-3838 or visit us on the web: https://www.radparts.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Novel ‘Cure’ For Cancer Treatment

A new report published in Nature titled “Decade-long leukemia remissions with persistence of CD4+ CAR T cells” highlights a novel treatment called CAR T, which is being hailed as a “cure” for cancer by Dr. Carl June, the principal investigator for the trial at the University of Pennsylvania.

June said, “Now we can finally say the word ‘cure’ with CAR T cells.” In 2010, when the trial began, the idea for this sort of therapy “was way out there,” he added.

June and his colleagues reported that the CAR T therapy wiped out cancer in two out of the three initial early-trial patients, all of whom had chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Though the cancer disappeared, the CAR T cells stayed circulating through patients’ bloodstreams, almost guarding the body against future attacks.

In CAR T therapy, T cells (white blood cells that fight viruses) are removed from a patient’s blood and re-introduced after being genetically engineered to fight cancer. Patients’ T cells are taught to recognize and destroy B cells, a key player in cancer formation throughout the body. Without B cells – or cancer – patients require regularly-scheduled infusions of immunoglobulin infusions, which replenish antibodies.

Many people with blood cancer have benefitted from CAR T therapy, which has proved especially effective against acute leukemia. Roughly a third of patients who underwent the CAR T therapy have gone into remission, but many patients later relapse.

Dr. John F. DiPersio, chief of the division of oncology at Washington University in St. Louis, said, “The question is not only why some patients relapse or are resistant to therapy but why are some patients cured?”

He continued, “Oncologists don’t use words like ‘cure’ lightly or easily or, frankly, very often,” he said. “I guarantee that it’s not being used lightly. The patients we treated had far advanced disease,” he noted, adding, “the biggest disappointment is that it doesn’t work all the time.”

RadParts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts. We specialize in low-cost parts for repairing linear accelerator and radiation equipment. Our mission is to provide high-quality, user-friendly, low-cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. Contact RadParts at 877-704-3838 or visit us on the web: https://www.radparts.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Henry Ford Health System Implants Novel Therapy for Brain Tumors

Surgeons at Michigan’s Henry Ford Health System successfully treated a patient who suffers from a recurrent brain tumor by delivering a dose of radiation therapy directly on the tumor. This new approach could revolutionize treatment by delaying or preventing future tumor cells from regrowing. Called GammaTile Therapy, the surgically targeted radiation therapy was the first of its kind performed in Michigan; the patient was a 41-year-old male.

Adam Robin, M.D., a neurosurgeon at the Hermelin Brain Tumor Center at Henry Ford, said, “The current standard of care for brain tumors is tumor resection, often followed by radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of both. Approximately half of patients treated for brain tumors experience tumor recurrence within a year. In his most recent surgery, the patient was treated with a form of surgically targeted radiation therapy, which targets residual tumor cells with radiation before they can significantly replicate. Our hope is this therapy will delay or prevent the tumor cells from replicating and forming a recurrent tumor.”

GammaTile Therapy is cleared by the FDA and designed to delay tumor regrowth while protecting healthy brain tissue in patients who suffer from recurring tumors.

Mira M. Shah, M.D., a radiation oncologist at Henry Ford, external beam radiation therapy is usually delivered no sooner than two- to three weeks after surgery to let the incision heal. With GammaTile, the radiation is focused on specific areas of the brain using a type of brachytherapy (internal radiation) which delivers a therapeutic dose to the tumor during surgery.

Leaving the healthy tissue unharmed, GammaTile maximizes the amount of radiation aimed at the tumor and is critical for those patients who have received external beam radiation therapy, which exposes healthy tissue to radiation.

A bioresorbable, conformable 3D-collaten tile uses uniformly spaced radiation sources to target the tumor cavity after the tumor is removed. In just 33 days, 90 percent of the radiation dose is delivered, and after 100 days, the GammaTiles are considered free from radiation. The placement of GammaTile takes approximately five minutes.

RadParts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts. We specialize in low-cost parts for repairing linear accelerator and radiation equipment. Our mission is to provide high-quality, user-friendly, low-cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. Contact RadParts at 877-704-3838 or visit us on the web: https://www.radparts.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Using AI for Lung Disease Diagnosis

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths globally. Five-year survival rates are at roughly 20 percent, according to Cancer.net. Those who smoke cigarettes have the highest risk for disease, along with nonsmokers who are exposed to toxins like arsenic, radon, asbestos, radiation, air pollution, and more.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been introduced to help diagnose the presence of lung cancer. Imaging is critical to lung cancer care; with help from AI, lung cancer can potentially be spotted sooner.

A new study combines CT information with clinical data to precisely forecast lung cancer. The AI considers factors such as nodule size, age, years smoked, cancer history, occupational exposure, and more.

More than four million people worldwide die prematurely due to a severe respiratory illness each year. Long-term exposure to dangerous toxins, particles, gases, or harsh temperatures can significantly affect the lungs. Certain occupations are more at risk than others, such as those who work as steelworkers, miners, or with textiles and automobiles.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a life-threatening illness causing emphysema. In clinical settings, emphysema is assessed by patient history, lung function, radiographs, and more. However, these tools are not able to make a diagnosis of mild emphysema. AI radiography is the most effective tool to detect issues that might normally slip under the radar.

A study released in October outlines how AI could match professional radiologists to predict emphysema in patients.

RadParts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts. We specialize in low-cost parts for repairing linear accelerator and radiation equipment. Our mission is to provide high-quality, user-friendly, low-cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. Contact RadParts at 877-704-3838 or visit us on the web: https://www.radparts.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Owners Can Now Repair Imaging Devices

A final rule was recently granted by the federal government that allows medical imaging equipment owners to repair their machines without intervention from the maker. This new rule shatters a copyright barrier that was previously in place.

An exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) allows servicers to work around medical device security controls for the purpose of accessing software required to maintain or restore the system. The Copyright Office Registrar recommended the Library of Congress move forward with the change.

The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance represents the original imaging equipment manufacturers and released a statement saying the recommendation to move forward will lead to “unnecessary safety and security risks” for patients.

In a statement, President and CEO of Avante Health Solutions said, “This is significant to healthcare systems looking for affordable options to maintain and repair expensive medical equipment and associated devices. Avante is thrilled, as this ruling builds on the FDA’s recognition of the merits and safety of the services provided by independent service organizations.”

The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) outlined that manufacturers are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and independent technicians are not held to the same standards as they have a lower amount of scrutiny associated with their position.

Moreover, the alliance also voiced concern over whether manufacturers’ intellectual property would be exposed to the public, which would be detrimental to the industry.

“MITA Executive Director Patrick Hope said, “If this recommendation is ultimately accepted and implemented, it would amount to a license for unregulated third-party servicers to hack sensitive technology, creating grievous cybersecurity and patient safety risks. We intend to continue to advocate against this misguided approach.”

RadParts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts. We specialize in low-cost parts for repairing linear accelerator and radiation equipment. Our mission is to provide high-quality, user-friendly, low-cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. Contact RadParts at 877-704-3838 or visit us on the web: https://www.radparts.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

GE Announces New CT System

Revolution Ascend, GE Healthcare’s newest workflow, has officially been released. The technology extends clinicians a combination of Artificial Intelligence (AI) meant to automate and simplify otherwise time-consuming tasks. The goal is to deliver more individualized care to patients by freeing up physicians’ time.

The new, wider system can accommodate higher Body Mass Index (BMI) or trauma patients who would otherwise be too challenging to manipulate in a small gantry. 

Timothy P. Szczykutowicz, Ph. D., director of clinical operations and the CT Protocol Project at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, said, “The most time-consuming part of the CT experience isn’t the scan itself, but the steps that fall outside the scan. Within a typical 10 – 30 minute CT exam, the scan itself only takes a few minutes, and the remainder of the time is dedicated to patient prep – including positioning the patient and identifying the correct protocols and settings, plus image reconstruction and report time. Historically, these have been manual processes, putting them at risk of human error; however, AI offers new opportunities to automate workflows and expedite exams with the same or better results.”

The first step in the Revolution Ascend workflow is for the technologist to use an attached bar code reader to scan the patient’s chart. Once scanned, the patient’s information is automatically displayed on-screen, with applicable protocols recommended. Then, the CT technician initiates Auto Positioning, which creates a 3D model of the patient’s body using real-time depth-sensing technology. Auto Positioning also establishes the proper table elevation and cradle movements to ensure the center is in range with the bore’s isocenter. The new Clarity Operator Environment then suggests optimal scan range settings, dosage, and image quality personalized to each person.

Gladys Farias, Imaging Services Manager at Baptist Health in Miami, Florida, said, “Having Revolution Ascend is like having an extra set of hands – which are much needed in today’s healthcare environment. Not only do the system’s intelligent solutions help us expedite exams, but they also enable us to deliver a more comfortable and personalized experience for each patient. Technologists love it for its simplicity. Clinicians love it for its results. And patients love it for its fast exams and comfort.”

RadParts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts. We specialize in low-cost parts for repairing linear accelerator and radiation equipment. Our mission is to provide high-quality, user-friendly, low-cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. Contact RadParts at 877-704-3838 or visit us on the web: https://www.radparts.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Ultrasound Gel Recalled by FDA

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has recalled eight lots of Eco-Med Pharmaceuticals ultrasound gel, with contamination being the culprit. Confirmed bacterial infections affected 15 patients who were in contact with the Eco-Gel 200 ultrasound gel. Unconfirmed cases are also suspected.

Eco-Gel instructed customers to immediately halt the use of the gel and return it to the manufacturer if possible.

FDA officials said, “Eco-Med has initiated this recall and quarantine due to bacterial contamination in the affected loss of ultrasound gel with Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bxx). The source(s) of the bacterial contamination is currently unknown. Eco-med is conducting a comprehensive investigation to determine the root cause of this contamination and take all necessary corrective action.”

Patients who encountered the gel can be asymptomatic or develop severe toxicity, such as bloodstream infection, which can result in sepsis or death.

Eco-Med lot numbers included in the recall:

  • Lot number B029 – distribution: March 26, 2021
  • Lot number B030 – distribution: March 30, 2021
  • Lot number B031 – distribution: April 5, 2021
  • Lot number B032 – distribution: April 7, 2021
  • Lot number B040 – distribution: April 26, 2021
  • Lot number B041 – distribution April 26, 2021
  • Lot number B048 – distribution: May 7, 2021
  • Lot number B055 – distribution: May 26, 2021

These brand names were also tainted and are recalled:

  • Chattanooga Conductor USA – DJO Global
  • DJO Conductor – DJO Global
  • Liquasonic – Athena Medical Products
  • MediChoice Ultrasound Gel – Owens & Minor
  • MediChoice Ultrasound Gel – Mac Medical Supply Co.
  • Medline – Medline Industries
  • NDC Eco-Gel 200 Ultrasound Gel – NDC
  • Omni – Accelerated Care Plus Leasing

RadParts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts. We specialize in low-cost parts for repairing linear accelerator and radiation equipment. Our mission is to provide high-quality, user-friendly, low-cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. Contact RadParts at 877-704-3838 or visit us on the web: https://www.radparts.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Molecular Imaging to Expand to $6.18 Billion by 2026

For 2019, the global molecular imaging space was evaluated at $4.199 billion, growing at a CAGR of 5.68 percent, expanding to $6.18 billion by 2026.

X-rays, computed tomography (CT), and ultrasound diagnostic imaging procedures offer photos of physical structure. Molecular imaging gives physicians a window into the body’s function, with an ability to measure it chemically and biologically.

Other imaging technologies are unable to provide information that is attainable with molecular imaging. Biopsies or surgeries could be required to identify disease with other diagnostic tests.

Molecular imaging is a powerful tool for physicians. It is helpful to achieve the following:

  • Manage patient care
  • Determine disease severity
  • Select proper therapy
  • Analyze drug response
  • Assess and adapt treatment
  • Respond to changes in health
  • Evaluate disease progression
  • Identify disease resurgence
  • Manage ongoing care

The demand in molecular systems is driven by:

  • Technological advancements
  • Rising prevalence of disorders
  • Large aging population
  • Government support
  • Hybrid modality treatments

North America leads the worldwide molecular imaging market, while the Asian Pacific is the speediest in terms of expansion due to rising healthcare spending.

RadParts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts. We specialize in low-cost parts for repairing linear accelerator and radiation equipment. Our mission is to provide high-quality, user-friendly, low-cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. Contact RadParts at 877-704-3838 or visit us on the web: https://www.radparts.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Use of Radiation Consultation Service (RCS) Has Risen During the Pandemic

During the coronavirus pandemic, most radiology practices shuttered or scaled back drastically. One service that stood out from the rest pivoted and focused on Radiology Consultation Service (RCS) to provide consultation and ensure permanence of care.

A recent study published in Clinical Imaging followed investigators from Weill Cornell Medical College at New York Presbyterian Hospital, who clarified how their RCS (launched in 2013) expanded through COVID-19.

Melissa Reichman, M.D., a women’s imaging specialist and assistant professor of radiology at Weill Cornell, led the team. Reichman said, “At a time when radiology experienced an unprecedented decrease in imaging studies during the initial peak of the COVID-19 crisis, the RCS at our institution, in contrast, showed a notable increase in services provided. Our experience demonstrates the value of an organized radiology consultation service and may serve as an example for other institutions to adopt a similar program, as patient-centered care is at the forefront of radiology.”

The number of consultations, as well as screening mammograms and ultrasounds, were compared from January 1, 2020, through July 31, 2020, to the same 2019 timeframe. Two more periods, March 1, 2020, through June 30, 2020, were compared to the same dates from the previous year.

Their findings identified many consultations ranging from 1,398 in 2019 to 1,623 in 2020, a 16 percent increase. Also, consultations were higher from March through June 2020 (679) versus 2019 (538), a 16.9 percent increase.

Results from the study indicate that RCS presents a route for radiologists to be at the forefront of the healthcare process, integrating with patients and providers regarding decisions. To determine the best plan possible for patients, all parties worked together as a team.

The report stated, “Physicians have become more conscientious about their imaging recommendations, relying on the radiologists’ clinical judgment of what is essential and minimizing unnecessary potential viral exposure. As a result, we believe that the radiology consultation service has enabled a more appropriate use of imaging.”

RadParts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts. We specialize in low-cost parts for repairing linear accelerator and radiation equipment. Our mission is to provide high-quality, user-friendly, low-cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. Contact RadParts at 877-704-3838 or visit us on the web: https://www.radparts.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Managing Health through Technology

The healthcare industry was forced to quickly lean more into technological thanks to the pandemic. Patient images have not changed, but modifications have made it possible to use consumer technology in new, unexpected ways. What are some of the novel workflow efficiencies and patient experiences that have cropped up since 2020? Here are some examples: 

Smartphones and Tablets

Providers can access images and reports virtually anywhere, thanks to smartphones or tablets. When it comes to commonplace technology, phones are ubiquitous. By using secure apps to access reports and images from anywhere, data breaches are not an issue since no information is stored on the device. Previously, physicians needed to sign in each time they wanted to check an imaging report. Now, these newer advancements allow the provider to sign in automatically. Text messages and alerts can be set up to notify the physician when reports are complete. With minimal effort, physicians can now transfer information to each other accordingly, seeing data in real-time.

QR Codes

First developed in 1994, these codes have made a comeback during the pandemic. Whether it’s for a restaurant menu, contactless payment, or essential information sharing, these scannable codes are seemingly everywhere. Now, physicians can use these codes to send reports to patients and providers instead of burning images to a Compact Disc (CD) or printout. QR codes allow for a more effective, efficient workflow. Patients can get images with ease, on their device of choice, without remembering usernames or passwords.

Web-based Viewer

Cloud technology allows web-based viewers to take a patient-focused methodology. It not only makes the Electronic Health Record (EHR) more effective, but it also consolidates information from different parts and gives a more holistic view of the patient’s record. Patients can also enjoy a web-based universal viewer to track their entire health story on a mobile device.

Old technology can be used in new ways. Today, imaging groups are using consumer-based technology to facilitate physician-patient relationships. COVID-19 accelerated the process; the innovations of the future might be the technology of today.

RadParts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts. We specialize in low-cost parts for repairing linear accelerator and radiation equipment. Our mission is to provide high-quality, user-friendly, low-cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. Contact RadParts at 877-704-3838 or visit us on the web: https://www.radparts.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.