At this year’s American Society for Radiation Oncology’s annual meeting, the following radiation therapy technology trends were labeled as the most up-and-coming. 

Flash Therapy
Labeled a “revolutionary” way to treat cancer, flash therapy has been under the radar for the past few years. Rather than giving fractions of radiation to patients over days or weeks at a time, a full dose is delivered swiftly. Healthy tissues react differently to high doses of radiation as opposed to smaller doses over time; the tissues recover well, and cancer cells are rapidly destroyed. This therapy can potentially revolutionize radiation therapy, making patient treatment slots more available. 

Image-Guided Radiotherapy Systems
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) guided linear accelerators (linac) systems gained popularity through the past few years thanks to their ability to allow real-time imaging during radiation therapy. With this process, patients are more aligned with the therapy through changes in tissue movement, breathing, food intake, bowel gas, etc. Though the results are more accurate and safer, they take longer to perform, and are being reserved for certain types of cancers. 

Proton: A Mainstream Treatment
Becoming more widely available, this therapy is highly accurate and performs better than the best photon therapy systems. Randomized trials will soon compare proton therapy versus photon therapy in prostate, lung, and breast cancer. Proton therapy interacts with cell biology differently than photon beam therapy. Proton flash therapy also makes proton systems more economically viable, since many more patients can be treated at once. 

PSMA PET For Prostate Cancer
Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA) Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging for prostate cancer can monumentally improve the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. In male patients with prostate cancer, the drug for PET nuclear imaging of PSMA-positive lesions was approved by the FDA. 

Synthetic CT from MRI Is Cost-Effective for Radiotherapy
New software can convert MRI databases into synthetic CT image datasets to assist in treatment plans. Since separate CT scans are not needed, costs can be reduced and care can be sped up. MRI is preferred for diagnosis compared to CT, as it can help provide a better understanding of the disease extent. 

AI (Artificial Intelligence) in Radiotherapy
AI is being used mainly as a time saver, as it speeds up routine tasks, automates treatment plans, offers alternative options, and more. AI can target tumors, identify tissues to avoid using radiation on, and provide information to suggest better treatment decisions. 

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Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems:

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