The goal is to understand movement due to breathing to better target tumors.

The William Beaumont Hospital (WBH) is conducting an NIH-funded study to examine how lung tumors move and to refine ways to compensate for breathing-induced tumor motion. Elekta reports that WBH researchers are using Elekta Synergy® and Elekta Active Breathing Coordinator™.

“This study attempts to measure lung tumor movement in patients with different stages of non-small-cell-lung cancer and also tumor motion in the same patients during their treatment course,” says clinical physicist Geoffrey Hugo, Ph.D., lead scientist on the research.

Elekta Synergy is an advanced multifunctional cancer treatment delivery system with intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and image-guided radiation treatment (IGRT) system using a patient breathing control device and Elekta Active Breathing Coordinator™ to conduct the study.

“Our theory is that combining Elekta Synergy IGRT techniques and active breathing coordinator-controlled breath holding will enable us to define how tumors are moving and in turn help us reduce the uncertainties about tumor position related to the patient’s breathing,” explains Dr. Hugo.

“The ultimate goals are to better target lung tumors and allow use of smaller treatment margins based on how each patient’s tumor moves during the breathing cycle and even adapt the patient’s treatment throughout the treatment course.

“We hope this work will result in methods to tailor breath hold radiation therapy per patient that results in the smallest variability in lung tumor position from treatment to treatment,” he continues. “We can convert those findings into smaller treatment margins for lung tumors that maximize treatment of the tumor itself while minimizing exposure of normal surrounding tissues. In turn, that could facilitate higher doses and fewer treatment sessions.”

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