CyberKnife & TrueBeam STx FAQs | Phoenix CyberKnife Center

FAQ

We know this is a lot of information to digest all at once. To better help you
understand who we are and what we do, we've prepared a list of frequently
asked questions in order to address some of the concerns you may have


We know this is a lot of information to digest all at once. To better help you understand who we are and what we do, we've prepared a list of frequently asked questions in order to address some of the concerns you may have

Categories:

Cyberknife
TrueBeam
Costs
Results
Location
WHAT IS THE CYBERKNIFE SYSTEM?
The CyberKnife system is a non-invasive alternative to surgery for cancer treatment. It is the most advanced technology for delivering radiation to tumors because it is able to track the natural movements of tumors that occur with breathing and natural body movements, and thus avoid sending radiation to healthy tissue or organs surrounding the tumor.

This radiotherapy treatment allows for a pain-free process with a reduced risk of side effects. Patients complete the treatment in a series of one to five short appointments, so it will not take up their whole day nor constrict them to bed rest for recovery. The CyberKnife system is the only robotic radiotherapy that offers a non-invasive alternative to surgery.
WHAT CONDITIONS DOES THE CYBERKNIFE SYSTEM TREAT?
We are pleased to be able to offer The CyberKnife System to treat tumors all throughout the body. The CyberKnife System can be used to treat both cancerous and noncancerous tumors in the head, spine, lung, prostate, liver, and pancreas.
HOW MANY PATIENTS HAVE BEEN TREATED USING CYBERKNIFE?
Over 300,000 patients had been treated worldwide by The CyberKnife System as of 2014, and that number has only gone up as more CyberKnife treatment facilities have opened up and as side effects from radiotherapy have gone down thanks to the CyberKnife System.
HOW DOES CYBERKNIFE RADIOTHERAPY DIFFER FROM TRADITIONAL RADIOTHERAPY?
While effective at killing dangerous cancer cells, traditional radiation therapy also damages the healthy cells and tissue surrounding the tumor. This occurs because traditional radiation therapy does not adapt to the natural movements of the tumor, and instead sends radiation in a wide field around the tumor to make sure the tumor is completely covered.

Radiation damage to healthy areas of the body can cause a number of undesirable side effects. The CyberKnife system was designed to reduce the risk of unnecessary side effects caused by radiation. It successfully lowers risks by only including the tumor in its radiation field and tracking the tumors movements with pinpoint precision and submillimeter accuracy. This non-invasive procedure allows patients to complete treatment within 1 to 5 days rather than the several weeks traditional radiotherapy tends to take.
HOW IS THE CYBERKNIFE SYSTEM DIFFERENT THAN OTHER RADIOSURGERY SYSTEMS?
Tumors have been shown to move slightly with the body during radiation treatment, despite a patient’s best efforts to stay motionless. The cyberknife system works around this by adapting to the movements of the tumor with unprecedented accuracy. The advanced robotic technology of the CyberKnife system delivers radiation directly to the tumor, changing position to match the patient’s movements in real time, thus avoiding the surrounding areas of the tumor.

Conventional radiotherapy systems are limited in motion, restricting them from delivering radiation in the most precise possible angles. The CyberKnife System allows for radiation to be delivered from a wider variety of angles, making for precise and accurate radiation delivery to the tumor.

The CyberKnife System adjusts in real time to the patient’s breathing, rendering conventional radiation techniques like the patient holding their breath or being strapped down unnecessary. The Cyberknife System also reduces healthy tissue damage by narrowing the field of radiation delivery to only the tumor, rather than overcompensating for any accidently missed parts of the tumor like conventional radiation treatments. The CyberKnife System’s ability to minimize healthy tissue damage is unparalleled.
WHAT DIFFERENT TREATMENT OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE FOR BOTH CANCEROUS OR BENIGN LESIONS?
Treatment options vary according to cancer location and type. Treatments can usually be divided into the following groups:

1. Radiosurgery: This radiation therapy is actually non-surgical despite its name, and delivers high doses of radiation to the tumor using robotics and advanced technology. This treatment option effectively destroys tumors in 1 to 5 treatments over 1 to 5 days. This outpatient procedure is completely non-invasive and requires no hospitalization.

2.Radiation Therapy: In this treatment, radiation is usually delivered 5 days a week over a course of 6-8 weeks. Unlike stereotactic radiosurgery, this treatment delivers radiation to a larger portion of the body than the tumor, thus effectively killing the tumor, but exposing the tissue surrounding the tumor to radiation as well. This treatment is generally an outpatient treatment, requiring no hospitalization.

3. Brachytherapy: This is a form of radiation therapy where small, radioactive sources are placed in and around a tumor. There are two types of brachytherapy:

• Low dose rate brachytherapy delivers radiation in low, prescribed doses over a long period of time, and radioactive sources are usually permanently implanted.

• High dose rate brachytherapy delivers high, prescribed doses of radiation from radioactive sources for a shorter period of time and are therefore implanted only temporarily.

Brachytherapy has been used to treat a wide variety of cancers such as head, neck, lung, breast, and prostate cancers.

4. Cryoablation: With cryoablation, also referred to as cryotherapy, a probe is inserted through an incision in the skin and sent straight to the tumor to freeze it and kill its cells. Depending on the advancement of the tumor, the procedure might be performed on an inpatient or an outpatient basis.

5. High intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU): HIFU uses an ultrasound beam to target and kill tissue containing cancer cells. The treatment has not been approved by the United States FDA but has been used in Europe as a prostate cancer treatment.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MAIN FACTORS OF THE CYBERKNIFE SYSTEM THAT PATIENTS BENEFIT FROM?
The CyberKnife system has been a source of hope for those who have inoperable or surgically complex tumors, as well as those who want an alternative treatment to surgery. This non-surgical, non-invasive system treats tumors anywhere in the body with pinpoint precision and sub-millimeter accuracy.

Other benefits include:

No incision

No pain

No anesthesia

No hospitalization

Patients don’t have to hold their breath

No recovery time

Patient can return to daily activities immediately prior to treatment

IS THE CYBERKNIFE SYSTEM FDA APPROVED?
The CyberKnife System has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of head, neck, and upper spine tumors since 1999, and for tumors anywhere else in the body since 2001.
DO PRIVATE INSURANCE COMPANIES AND MEDICARE COVER CYBERKNIFE TREATMENTS?
Yes, CyberKnife treatments are covered by most private insurance companies and by Medicare. Our in-house billing staff will determine insurance authorization when necessary, prior to treatment. However, patients should consult with us concerning their treatment options and sometimes might be required to obtain prior authorization from their insurance provider once a treatment option is determined. Cash payments and customized payment plans are another option for paying for treatment. Feel free to consult with our center to find a suitable payment option.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A LESION AND A TUMOR?
Lesions are abnormalities in the body such as tumors, blood clots, cysts, aneurysms, or inflammatory masses. A tumor is a type of lesion that manifests as an abnormal collection of cells that developed because of a change to the cells. Tumors can either be malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous).
WHAT IS CANCER STAGING AND HOW IS IT DONE?
Staging is how doctors determine the severity of each individual's cancer diagnosis. Defining the state of the cancer allows doctors to create the most effective treatment plan and estimate a patient’s prognosis. There are multiple ways to stage cancer, and which one is used often depends on which type of cancer is being dealt with. The TNM system is a commonly used option which looks at the extent of the tumor (T), whether or not it has spread to lymph nodes (N), and whether or not it has spread to other parts of the body (M). Cancers are also often categorized into either stage 0, stage I, stage II, stage III, or stage IV, ranging from least severe to most severe.
AM I STILL ELIGIBLE FOR CYBERKNIFE TREATMENT IF I AM CURRENTLY UNDERGOING OR HAVE UNDERGONE CHEMOTHERAPY?
Yes, the CyberKnife treatment is an option for those who are or who have undergone chemotherapy treatment. Patients should always provide their physicians with their complete medical history so that physicians can determine the most appropriate and best suited treatment for their case, whether that be the CyberKnife treatment or something else.
AM I STILL ELIGIBLE FOR CYBERKNIFE TREATMENT IF I AM CURRENTLY UNDERGOING OR HAVE UNDERGONE RADIATION OR PROTON THERAPY?
Yes, the CyberKnife treatment is an option for those who have either had or who are currently getting radiation or proton therapy. Patients should always provide their physicians with their complete medical history so that physicians can determine the most appropriate and best suited treatment for their case, whether that be the CyberKnife treatment or something else.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF RECEIVING THE CYBERKNIFE TREATMENT?
Fortunately, the CyberKnife treatment is known to produce minimal side effects and allow for little to no recovery time. However, some patients do experience mild fatigue or nausea depending on the treatment site of the tumor. Any possible side effects from the treatment will be disclosed by the CyberKnife physician before treatment is administered.
WILL MY LESIONS OR TUMORS BE GONE AFTER TREATMENT?
Depending on the extent of the medical condition, the timeframe for effectively destroying a tumor or lesion can range from days to even years. Different tumors vary in how fast they disappear, and some simply stop growing or presenting cell activity. After treatment, patients should receive image testing (CAT scan or MRI) periodically and possibly even additional tests to check on the effectiveness of the treatment.
HOW MANY TIMES CAN A PATIENT RECEIVE THE CYBERKNIFE TREATMENT?
In most cases, patients can be re-treated with the CyberKnife system if it is necessary. How often the CyberKnife treatment can be administered is dependent upon the type and location of the tumor being treated.
WHAT IS RADIOTHERAPY?
Radiotherapy has been used as a safe, effective treatment for cancer for many years. In fact, nearly two out of every three cancer patients receive some type of radiotherapy during their treatment. Radiotherapy works by limiting the ability of cancer cells to grow and spread. Radiation disrupts the DNA of these fast-growing cancer cells and prevents them from replicating.

The radiation is generated by a machine called a linear accelerator, which shapes beams of energy with varying intensities. These beams can be aimed at a tumor from multiple angles to attack it in a 3-D manner. The TrueBeam System delivers the lowest dose possible to the surrounding healthy tissue, while still delivering the maximum dose to the tumor.

When you hear the word “radiation,” you may immediately think of radioactive substances. However, no radioactive substances are involved in the creation of the beam by a medical linear accelerator. When a linear accelerator is switched “on,” radiation is produced and aimed directly at cancer cells. Then when the system is switched off, radiation is no longer emitted from the system.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF TRUEBEAM TREATMENTS?
The TrueBeam system gives medical professionals the tools to treat many different types of cancers. Benefits include:

• Speed – Simple treatments that once took 10 to 30 minutes can now be completed in less than two minutes. Faster treatment delivery not only is more comfortable for patients, requiring less time on the treatment couch, it also reduces the chance of tumor motion during treatment, which helps protect nearby healthy tissue and critical organs.

• Precision – The accuracy of the TrueBeam system is measured in increments of less than a millimeter, which is made possible by the system’s sophisticated architecture. The TrueBeam system synchronizes imaging, patient positioning, motion management, beam shaping and dose delivery, performing accuracy checks every ten milliseconds throughout the entire treatment.

• Imaging – TrueBeam imaging technology quickly produces the 3-D images used to fine-tune tumor targeting, using 25 percent less X-ray dose than previous systems.

• Motion Tracking - For lung and other tumors subject to respiratory motion, TrueBeam offers Gated RapidArc® radiotherapy, which makes it possible to monitor the patient’s breathing and compensate for movement of the tumor while the dose is being delivered in a continuous rotation of the treatment machine.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A PERSON IS TREATED WITH THE TRUEBEAM SYSTEM?
TrueBeam treatment involves these basic steps:

• Treatment Planning – After a diagnosis, the medical physicist generates 3-D diagnostic images (usually CT or MRI) of the tumor and the area around it. Using these images, a radiation oncologist will work with the physicist to plan your individualized treatment, specifying the dose of radiation needed to treat the tumor.

• Treatment Preparation – Most cases require a treatment preparation session. Special molded devices that help the patient maintain the same position every day are sometimes developed at this point. The radiation oncologist may request to have the treatment area marked on the patient’s skin to assist in aligning the equipment with the target area.

• Treatment - The individualized TrueBeam treatments will be delivered according to a schedule specific to the treatment plan. The total dose of radiation is usually divided into smaller doses, called fractions, which are delivered daily over a specific time period. During a TrueBeam treatment, the linear accelerator can rotate around the patient to deliver the radiation. The radiation is shaped and reshaped as it is continuously delivered from virtually every angle in a 360-degree revolution around the patient. Sometimes a marker block device is used to monitor breathing patterns to compensate for breathing motion during the treatment. Most treatments usually take only a few minutes each day.
WHO ARE THE PROFESSIONALS YOU MAY TYPICALLY ENCOUNTER DURING YOUR TRUEBEAM TREATMENTS?
There are a number of medical professionals who may be involved in your treatment:

• Radiation oncologist – A doctor who has had special training in using radiation to treat diseases and prescribes the type and amount of treatment. The radiation oncologist may work closely with other doctors and the rest of the healthcare team.

• Medical physicist - Participates in the planning process and ensures that the machines deliver the right dose of radiation.

• Dosimetrist – Plans the treatment with the oncologist and the physicist.

• Radiation therapy nurse – Provides nursing care and may help the patient learn about treatment or how to manage any side effects.

• Radiation therapist – Sets the patient up for treatment and operates the equipment that delivers the radiation.
HOW LONG DOES TRUEBEAM TREATMENT TAKE?
The length of the treatment course varies depending on the diagnosis. Generally, radiation therapy usually is given daily over several weeks.
DO YOU BECOME RADIOACTIVE AFTER TRUEBEAM TREATMENT?
External radiation therapy does not cause anyone’s body to become radioactive. After receiving TrueBeam treatments, you won’t need to avoid being with other people. Side effects of radiation therapy most often are related to the area that is being treated. You should consult with your doctor to discuss the specific diagnosis, prognosis and possible side effects from radiation treatment.
IS TRUEBEAM TREATMENT EXPENSIVE?
The exact cost of radiation therapy will depend on the type and number of treatments a patient needs. Many health insurance policies cover charges for radiotherapy. You should speak with your insurer, your doctor's office staff or the hospital business office about your policy and how expected costs will be paid.
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CYBERKNIFE QUESTIONS
WHAT IS THE CYBERKNIFE SYSTEM?
The CyberKnife system is a non-invasive alternative to surgery for cancer treatment. It is the most advanced technology for delivering radiation to tumors because it is able to track the natural movements of tumors that occur with breathing and natural body movements, and thus avoid sending radiation to healthy tissue or organs surrounding the tumor.

This radiotherapy treatment allows for a pain-free process with a reduced risk of side effects. Patients complete the treatment in a series of one to five short appointments, so it will not take up their whole day nor constrict them to bed rest for recovery. The CyberKnife system is the only robotic radiotherapy that offers a non-invasive alternative to surgery.
WHAT CONDITIONS DOES THE CYBERKNIFE SYSTEM TREAT?
We are pleased to be able to offer The CyberKnife System to treat tumors all throughout the body. The CyberKnife System can be used to treat both cancerous and noncancerous tumors in the head, spine, lung, prostate, liver, and pancreas.
HOW MANY PATIENTS HAVE BEEN TREATED USING CYBERKNIFE?
Over 300,000 patients had been treated worldwide by The CyberKnife System as of 2014, and that number has only gone up as more CyberKnife treatment facilities have opened up and as side effects from radiotherapy have gone down thanks to the CyberKnife System.
HOW DOES CYBERKNIFE RADIOTHERAPY DIFFER FROM TRADITIONAL RADIOTHERAPY?
While effective at killing dangerous cancer cells, traditional radiation therapy also damages the healthy cells and tissue surrounding the tumor. This occurs because traditional radiation therapy does not adapt to the natural movements of the tumor, and instead sends radiation in a wide field around the tumor to make sure the tumor is completely covered.

Radiation damage to healthy areas of the body can cause a number of undesirable side effects. The CyberKnife system was designed to reduce the risk of unnecessary side effects caused by radiation. It successfully lowers risks by only including the tumor in its radiation field and tracking the tumors movements with pinpoint precision and submillimeter accuracy. This non-invasive procedure allows patients to complete treatment within 1 to 5 days rather than the several weeks traditional radiotherapy tends to take.
HOW IS THE CYBERKNIFE SYSTEM DIFFERENT THAN OTHER RADIOSURGERY SYSTEMS?
Tumors have been shown to move slightly with the body during radiation treatment, despite a patient’s best efforts to stay motionless. The CyberKnife system works around this by adapting to the movements of the tumor with unprecedented accuracy. The advanced robotic technology of the CyberKnife system delivers radiation directly to the tumor, changing position to match the patient’s movements in real time, thus avoiding the surrounding areas of the tumor.

Conventional radiotherapy systems are limited in motion, restricting them from delivering radiation in the most precise possible angles. The CyberKnife System allows for radiation to be delivered from a wider variety of angles, making for precise and accurate radiation delivery to the tumor.

The CyberKnife System adjusts in real time to the patient’s breathing, rendering conventional radiation techniques like the patient holding their breath or being strapped down unnecessary. The Cyberknife System also reduces healthy tissue damage by narrowing the field of radiation delivery to only the tumor, rather than overcompensating for any accidentally missed parts of the tumor like conventional radiation treatments. The CyberKnife system’s ability to minimize healthy tissue damage is unparalleled.
WHAT DIFFERENT TREATMENT OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE FOR BOTH CANCEROUS OR BENIGN LESIONS?
Treatment options vary according to cancer location and type. Treatments can usually be divided into the following groups:

1. Radiosurgery: This radiation therapy is actually non-surgical despite its name, and delivers high doses of radiation to the tumor using robotics and advanced technology. This treatment option effectively destroys tumors in 1 to 5 treatments over 1 to 5 days. This outpatient procedure is completely non-invasive and requires no hospitalization.

2. Radiation Therapy: In this treatment, radiation is usually delivered 5 days a week over a course of 6-8 weeks. Unlike stereotactic radiosurgery, this treatment delivers radiation to a larger portion of the body than the tumor, thus effectively killing the tumor, but exposing the tissue surrounding the tumor to radiation as well. This treatment is generally an outpatient treatment, requiring no hospitalization.

3. Brachytherapy: This is a form of radiation therapy where small, radioactive sources are placed in and around a tumor. There are two types of brachytherapy:

Low dose rate brachytherapy delivers radiation in low, prescribed doses over a long period of time, and radioactive sources are usually permanently implanted.

High dose rate brachytherapy delivers high, prescribed doses of radiation from radioactive sources for a shorter period of time and are therefore implanted only temporarily.

Brachytherapy has been used to treat a wide variety of cancers such as head, neck, lung, breast, and prostate cancers.

4. Cryoablation: With cryoablation, also referred to as cryotherapy, a probe is inserted through an incision in the skin and sent straight to the tumor to freeze it and kill its cells. Depending on the advancement of the tumor, the procedure might be performed on an inpatient or an outpatient basis.

5. High intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU): HIFU uses an ultrasound beam to target and kill tissue containing cancer cells. The treatment has not been approved by the United States FDA but has been used in Europe as a prostate cancer treatment.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MAIN FACTORS OF THE CYBERKNIFE SYSTEM THAT PATIENTS BENEFIT FROM?
The CyberKnife system has been a source of hope for those who have inoperable or surgically complex tumors, as well as those who want an alternative treatment to surgery. This non-surgical, non-invasive system treats tumors anywhere in the body with pinpoint precision and sub-millimeter accuracy.

Other benefits include:

No incision

No pain

No anesthesia

No hospitalization

Patients don’t have to hold their breath

No recovery time

Patient can generally return to daily activities immediately after to treatment

IS THE CYBERKNIFE SYSTEM FDA APPROVED?
The CyberKnife System has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of head, neck, and upper spine tumors since 1999, and for tumors anywhere else in the body since 2001.
DO PRIVATE INSURANCE COMPANIES AND MEDICARE COVER CYBERKNIFE TREATMENTS?
Yes, CyberKnife treatments are covered by most private insurance companies and by Medicare. Our in-house billing staff will determine insurance authorization when necessary, prior to treatment. However, patients should consult with us concerning their treatment options and sometimes might be required to obtain prior authorization from their insurance provider once a treatment option is determined. Cash payments and customized payment plans are another option for paying for treatment. Feel free to consult with our center to find a suitable payment option.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A LESION AND A TUMOR?
Lesions are abnormalities in the body such as tumors, blood clots, cysts, aneurysms, or inflammatory masses. A tumor is a type of lesion that manifests as an abnormal collection of cells that developed because of a change to the cells. Tumors can either be malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous).
WHAT IS CANCER STAGING AND HOW IS IT DONE?
Staging is how doctors determine the severity of each individual's cancer diagnosis. Defining the state of the cancer allows doctors to create the most effective treatment plan and estimate a patient’s prognosis. There are multiple ways to stage cancer, and which one is used often depends on which type of cancer is being dealt with. The TNM system is a commonly used option which looks at the extent of the tumor (T), whether or not it has spread to lymph nodes (N), and whether or not it has spread to other parts of the body (M). Cancers are also often categorized into either stage 0, stage I, stage II, stage III, or stage IV, ranging from least severe to most severe.
AM I STILL ELIGIBLE FOR CYBERKNIFE TREATMENT IF I AM CURRENTLY UNDERGOING OR HAVE UNDERGONE CHEMOTHERAPY?
Yes, the CyberKnife treatment is an option for those who are or who have undergone chemotherapy treatment. Patients should always provide their physicians with their complete medical history so that physicians can determine the most appropriate and best suited treatment for their case, whether that be the CyberKnife treatment or something else.
AM I STILL ELIGIBLE FOR CYBERKNIFE TREATMENT IF I AM CURRENTLY UNDERGOING OR HAVE UNDERGONE RADIATION OR PROTON THERAPY?
Yes, the CyberKnife treatment is an option for those who have either had or who are currently getting radiation or proton therapy. Patients should always provide their physicians with their complete medical history so that physicians can determine the most appropriate and best suited treatment for their case, whether that be the CyberKnife treatment or something else.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF RECEIVING THE CYBERKNIFE TREATMENT?
Fortunately, the CyberKnife treatment is known to produce minimal side effects and allow for little to no recovery time. However, some patients do experience mild fatigue or nausea depending on the treatment site of the tumor. Any possible side effects from the treatment will be disclosed by the CyberKnife physician before treatment is administered.
WILL MY LESIONS OR TUMORS BE GONE AFTER TREATMENT?
Depending on the extent of the medical condition, the timeframe for effectively destroying a tumor or lesion can range from days to even years. Different tumors vary in how fast they disappear, and some simply stop growing or presenting cell activity. After treatment, patients should receive image testing (CAT scan or MRI) periodically and possibly even additional tests to check on the effectiveness of the treatment.
HOW MANY TIMES CAN A PATIENT RECEIVE THE CYBERKNIFE TREATMENT?
In most cases, patients can be re-treated with the CyberKnife system if it is necessary. How often the CyberKnife treatment can be administered is dependent upon the type and location of the tumor being treated.
TRUEBEAM QUESTIONS
WHAT IS RADIOTHERAPY?
Radiotherapy has been used as a safe, effective treatment for cancer for many years. In fact, nearly two out of every three cancer patients receive some type of radiotherapy during their treatment. Radiotherapy works by limiting the ability of cancer cells to grow and spread. Radiation disrupts the DNA of these fast-growing cancer cells and prevents them from replicating.

The radiation is generated by a machine called a linear accelerator, which shapes beams of energy with varying intensities. These beams can be aimed at a tumor from multiple angles to attack it in a 3-D manner. The TrueBeam System delivers the lowest dose possible to the surrounding healthy tissue, while still delivering the maximum dose to the tumor.

When you hear the word “radiation,” you may immediately think of radioactive substances. However, no radioactive substances are involved in the creation of the beam by a medical linear accelerator. When a linear accelerator is switched “on,” radiation is produced and aimed directly at cancer cells. Then when the system is switched off, radiation is no longer emitted from the system.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF TRUEBEAM TREATMENTS?
The TrueBeam system gives medical professionals the tools to treat many different types of cancers. Benefits include:

• Speed – Simple treatments that once took 10 to 30 minutes can now be completed in less than two minutes. Faster treatment delivery not only is more comfortable for patients, requiring less time on the treatment couch, it also reduces the chance of tumor motion during treatment, which helps protect nearby healthy tissue and critical organs.

• Precision – The accuracy of the TrueBeam system is measured in increments of less than a millimeter, which is made possible by the system’s sophisticated architecture. The TrueBeam system synchronizes imaging, patient positioning, motion management, beam shaping and dose delivery, performing accuracy checks every ten milliseconds throughout the entire treatment.

• Imaging – TrueBeam imaging technology quickly produces the 3-D images used to fine-tune tumor targeting, using 25 percent less X-ray dose than previous systems.

• Motion Tracking - For lung and other tumors subject to respiratory motion, TrueBeam offers Gated RapidArc® radiotherapy, which makes it possible to monitor the patient’s breathing and compensate for movement of the tumor while the dose is being delivered in a continuous rotation of the treatment machine.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A PERSON IS TREATED WITH THE TRUEBEAM SYSTEM?
TrueBeam treatment involves these basic steps:

• Treatment Planning – After a diagnosis, the medical physicist generates 3-D diagnostic images (usually CT or MRI) of the tumor and the area around it. Using these images, a radiation oncologist will work with the physicist to plan your individualized treatment, specifying the dose of radiation needed to treat the tumor.

• Treatment Preparation – Most cases require a treatment preparation session. Special molded devices that help the patient maintain the same position every day are sometimes developed at this point. The radiation oncologist may request to have the treatment area marked on the patient’s skin to assist in aligning the equipment with the target area.

• Treatment - The individualized TrueBeam treatments will be delivered according to a schedule specific to the treatment plan. The total dose of radiation is usually divided into smaller doses, called fractions, which are delivered daily over a specific time period. During a TrueBeam treatment, the linear accelerator can rotate around the patient to deliver the radiation. The radiation is shaped and reshaped as it is continuously delivered from virtually every angle in a 360-degree revolution around the patient. Sometimes a marker block device is used to monitor breathing patterns to compensate for breathing motion during the treatment. Most treatments usually take only a few minutes each day.
WHO ARE THE PROFESSIONALS YOU MAY TYPICALLY ENCOUNTER DURING YOUR TRUEBEAM TREATMENTS?
There are a number of medical professionals who may be involved in your treatment:

• Radiation oncologist – A doctor who has had special training in using radiation to treat diseases and prescribes the type and amount of treatment. The radiation oncologist may work closely with other doctors and the rest of the healthcare team.

• Medical physicist - Participates in the planning process and ensures that the machines deliver the right dose of radiation.

• Dosimetrist – Plans the treatment with the oncologist and the physicist.

• Radiation therapy nurse – Provides nursing care and may help the patient learn about treatment or how to manage any side effects.

• Radiation therapist – Sets the patient up for treatment and operates the equipment that delivers the radiation.
HOW LONG DOES TRUEBEAM TREATMENT TAKE?
The length of the treatment course varies depending on the diagnosis. Generally, radiation therapy usually is given daily over several weeks.
DO YOU BECOME RADIOACTIVE AFTER TRUEBEAM TREATMENT?
External radiation therapy does not cause anyone’s body to become radioactive. After receiving TrueBeam treatments, you won’t need to avoid being with other people. Side effects of radiation therapy most often are related to the area that is being treated. You should consult with your doctor to discuss the specific diagnosis, prognosis and possible side effects from radiation treatment.
IS TRUEBEAM TREATMENT EXPENSIVE?
The exact cost of radiation therapy will depend on the type and number of treatments a patient needs. Many health insurance policies cover charges for radiotherapy. You should speak with your insurer, your doctor's office staff or the hospital business office about your policy and how expected costs will be paid.