University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center studying promising new imaging technology

02/18/04

New technology developed by GE may help radiation oncologists more accurately target tumors

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 18 A new imaging technology developed by GE Medical Systems and currently being evaluated at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) may allow radiation oncologists to precisely track tumor movement and avoid excess doses of radiation for patients under treatment for cancer. Preliminary results at UPMC demonstrate that Advantage™ 4D (Adv4D) limits the exposure of radiation to healthy tissue surrounding a tumor by allowing radiation oncologists to precisely visualize and assess its structure and movement.

"One of the challenges of treatment planning for radiation therapy is pinpointing radiation precisely to target a tumor and decreasing the amount of healthy tissue that may be exposed to radiation," said Andrew Wu, Ph.D., director of medical physics at UPMC. "Tumors are akin to moving targets. As a patient inhales and exhales, the tumor moves, making it challenging to target the tumor and to avoid exposure of radiation to the area that surrounds the tumor."

According to Dr. Wu, Adv4D is promising because it is one of the first technologies of its kind to allow physicists to perform respiratory gating precisely following the movement of a tumor according to a patient's breathing cycle.

"What makes GE's Advantage 4D CT respiratory gating system different than any other similar software is the ability to superimpose tumor or organ definitions over CT images in a movie loop," said Bob Beckett, global manager, CT oncology for GE Medical Systems. "This unique advantage allows doctors to confidently evaluate the effects of motion on target volumes to help ensure the tumor receives the full amount of the treatment dose."

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