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Innovations in Radiotherapy Guidance: Taking Patient Care into Tomorrow

 

 

Philips has been dedicated to advancing technologies for radiation oncology applications for over a decade – striving to simplify procedures, improve outcomes and enhance the quality of life.  Radiation oncology continues to evolve rapidly and as the delivery of therapy becomes more complex, it’s imperative  radiation oncologists can access state of the art tools that are proven, powerful, precise, and most of all, integrated–thus saving precious time while enabling more efficient and accurate care.
In radiotherapy, it’s critical to define the boundaries for treatment and spare healthy tissue, and this is where image guidance is so vitally important. Current clinical practice often takes a combined approach to treatment planning using both MR and CT images, but this can lead to image misalignment and registration uncertainties that could impact targeting and treatment. It also lengthens the amount of time a patient has to wait between planning and actual treatment.  Innovations, such as MR-only simulation for prostate treatment planning on the Philips Ingenia MR-RT platform, not only eliminates a CT scan for the patient, but improves workflow and could potentially reduce costs, as compared to MR-CT workflow.

Examples of the trend also include the ability to streamline the path from image to plan by integrating the automated features of treatment planning software. Philips provides this capability with CT Big Bore v.4.2, which offers more powerful simulation and advanced marking tools right at the scanner console to help speed time to treatment. Looking ahead we anticipate automatic image processing capabilities like auto-segmentation for treatment simulators that offer clinicians a 3D patient model that segments the organs at risk.

 

In addition to the ASTRO annual meeting, September is also Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and for good reason:  prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among American men, with an estimated 180,890 new diagnoses expected in 2016 alone, according to the American Cancer Society[1]. The ACS also reports that approximately one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime,2 making it imperative that we continue to innovate in this area. Prostate cancer is but one example of the many oncology-related activities ongoing within Philips.

Fortunately, the diagnosis and treatment of this cancer type is experiencing a paradigm shift away from invasive, gland removing treatments to a more precise approach that is minimally invasive and increasingly more localized. This shift promises to show equal therapeutic outcomes while significantly improving after-treatment quality of life. This positive trend is to a large extent driven by utilization of integrated imaging methods and informatics to better diagnose, define and target cancer hotspots within the prostate.

 

Every patient’s cancer is unique and displays individual variations, triggering radiation oncology to invariably pursue a more personalized medicine approach. Cancer is a genomic disease and this individualistic approach provides the opportunity for better understanding of specific mutations, compared to a cancer type – in turn allowing for a more customized and targeted treatment plan.

 

Diagnostic innovations, especially for radiation oncology, are key to driving precision medicine forward and will be integral in providing radiation oncologists with additional tools for effective treatment planning and delivery.  Philips is advancing this trend by combining all major imaging modalities for oncology care with treatment planning software, advanced visualization and image processing, and the emerging areas of digital pathology and genomics. The innovative work that’s emerging is having a meaningful impact on patients and the clinicians who treat them, with the promise of even more impact tomorrow.

 

[1], 2 American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts & Figures 2016, Atlanta. American Cancer Society 2016

Rob Cascella

CEO, Imaging Business Group, Philips

 

Rob Cascella joined Philips as Executive Vice President and CEO of Imaging in April 2015, and leads Philips’ cluster of global imaging businesses including Diagnostic Imaging (Computed Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Diagnostic X-Ray and Advanced Molecular Imaging), Image Guided Therapy and Ultrasound. He has more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry and has served on several boards.

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