TrueBeam – Advanced Linear Accelerator and Radiosurgery Treatment System
TrueBeam is an advanced linear accelerator and radiosurgery treatment system that allows doctors to target hard-to-reach tumours. TrueBeam radiation delivery platform boosts the levels of clinical excellence through advantages like superior image clarity and pinpoint accuracy. High-end features like one-button image acquisition and intelligent automation of beam delivery make TrueBeam treatment extremely effective and 50% faster.
As one of the few technologies that use cutting-edge imaging and motion monitoring technology, TrueBeam precisely delivers radiation by taking images of the tumour, checking the location accuracy every 10 seconds and realigning the radiation beams if there is any change in the tumour position.
TrueBeam is used to treat the cancers of the brain, head & neck region, liver, lung, pancreas and spine along with the conditions of meningioma, neurofibroma, Schwannoma, vascular malformations and many recurrent and inoperable tumours.
How Does TrueBeam Work?
Treatment with TrueBeam involves three main steps:
Treatment Planning: The diagnosis is followed by treatment planning, wherein the 3D images of the tumour and the surrounding regions are taken. These images will help specialists verify the anatomy of the tumour and create individualised radiation therapy plan with specific doses, number of sessions, specific radiotherapy modality, etc. for the patients.
Preparation for Treatment: Before every radiation therapy session, there will be a treatment preparation session. This session involves patient positioning with the help of special moulded devices, marking the treatment area with permanent ink, aligning the equipment for motion monitoring, etc., and setting up other parameters to ensure precise radiation delivery.
Radiation Treatment: According to the treatment plan, the radiation doses are delivered in controlled doses for a specific period. During the session, the TrueBeam STx linear accelerator rotates around the patient while delivering the radiation beams. These beams are shaped and reshaped throughout the treatment, and the tumour is targeted from multiple angles. TrueBeam’s advanced technology helps radiologists minimise damage to the surrounding healthy tissues.
Following are the radiotherapy treatments that can be delivered on the TrueBeam radiation platform:
- Image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT)
- Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT)
- RapidArc® and gated RapidArc radiotherapy
- Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS)
- Fractionated stereotactic radiation therapy
- Stereotactic body radiation therapy
Advantages of TrueBeam
TrueBeam is a powerful non-invasive radiosurgery system that comes with numerous advantages for the patients:
- Through advanced imaging features, TrueBeam allows radiologists to see and treat the tumour with submillimetre accuracy.
- The efficient motion-management and respiratory monitoring tools intelligently synchronise beam delivery with the tumour motion that occurs due to body movements like breathing, swallowing, coughing, etc.
- TrueBeam facilitates a comfortable treatment experience for patients through shorter treatment durations and quieter sessions.
- TrueBeam delivers radiation with pinpoint accuracy and reduces damage to the normal tissues.
- Through TrueBeam, specialists can track and treat tumours that are located in hard-to-reach areas.
- TrueBeam reduces the treatment duration remarkably. Treatment sessions that took 25-30 minutes before now take 5-10 minutes only.
- Patients need less recovery period and can more readily return to their normal routines
- TrueBeam treatment does not need an overnight hospital stay and comes with fewer treatment complications.
Frequently Asked Questions
Potential side effects associated with TrueBeam treatment include fatigue or tiredness, nausea and skin irritation. Depending on the organ treated, there could be other side effects such as mouth sores, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, pain, swelling, etc.
Most of the side effects caused by radiation therapy are temporary. However, if these side effects are severe, patients must get in touch with their treating doctor immediately.
Yes, radiation can shrink large tumours.
Usually, tumours are shrunk right before the surgery, which makes it easy for the surgeons to operate the tumour successfully.
Treatment response monitoring is an important protocol that your expert team follows throughout your treatment. As you undergo the recommended treatment, various tests like blood tests, X-rays, PET CT scans, MRI scans, etc., are performed on a regular basis to assess your body’s response to the treatment.
If your body is responding well and the cancer is shrinking or is under control, your treatment may continue as it is. However, if your body’s response against the treatment given is poor, your expert team will recommend a new treatment plan that could work.
This depends on the organ that is being treated with radiation therapy. Patients undergoing radiation therapy for head and neck cancers, stomach cancers and other cancers of the pelvic region experience weight loss as the treatment may cause:
- Mouth sores or dry mouth
- Reduced appetite
- Swallowing difficulties
- Taste changes
Nevertheless, adequate food and fluid intake are necessary for cancer patients throughout their treatment.
You can meet an onco-dietician who will advise you on dietary habits that are easy to follow and foods that are relatively easier to eat.
Consuming sufficient calories throughout the treatment will help you stay strong and complete your treatment successfully. This also impacts your treatment response. Ideally, a counselling session with a certified onco-dietician should be considered right after the diagnosis; this will support a better treatment response and faster recovery.
Your treatment plan will be made according to the type of your cancer, its grade and stage and your overall health during the diagnosis. Some cancers are treated with radiation therapy alone. However, in many cases, cancers are treated with a multimodal approach, i.e., a combination of treatment methods like surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Your treating doctor is the best person to decide the suitable treatment plan for you, whether unimodal or multimodal.