TrueBeam STx Treatment | John Stoddard Cancer Center

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UnityPoint Health - John Stoddard Cancer Center

What is a TrueBeam STx Treatment?

A doctor may prescribe treatment with TrueBeam STx for many reasons. This technology gives medical professionals the tools to treat many different types of cancers and other medical conditions.

TrueBeam STx is fast, with most treatments taking just a few minutes a day. A TrueBeam STx system can deliver treatments 2.4 to 4 times faster with a dose delivery rate of up to 2,400 monitor units per minute-double the output of most other radiosurgery systems. A radiosurgery treatment that typically takes 30 to 60 minutes can be completed in just 5 to 20 minutes. In addition to enabling for a more comfortable experience, as the patient spends less time on the treatment couch, faster treatments also allow for reduced chance of patient and tumor movement during treatment.

The precision of the TrueBeam STx system is measured in increments of less than a millimeter. This accuracy is made possible by the system's sophisticated architecture, which choreographs imaging, patient positioning, motion management, beam shaping and dose delivery, performing quality checks every ten milliseconds throughout the entire treatment.

TrueBeam imaging technology can produce the three-dimensional images used to fine-tune tumor targeting in 60% less time than previous Varian imaging technology. Additional functionality makes it possible to create images using 25% less X-ray dose.

For lung and other tumors subject to respiratory motion, TrueBeam STx offers Gated RapidArc® radiotherapy, which makes it possible to monitor the patient's breathing and compensates for movement of the tumor while the dose is being delivered in a continuous rotation of the treatment machine.

In addition to its impressive technical specifications, TrueBeam STx has also been designed to address patient comfort. It operates quietly and has built-in music capabilities so the patient can listen to music during their treatment. The therapist who operates the system can be in constant two-way communication with the patient. Plus the therapist can visually see the patient through three closed-circuit monitors.

What happens when a person is treated with radiosurgery?

Radiosurgery treatment, including TrueBeam STx treatment, involves three basic steps: visualization of the tumor, the planning of the individual treatment and the delivery of the treatment.

After their diagnosis, the medical physicist generates three-dimensional diagnostic images (usually CT or MRI) of the tumor and the area around it. They then use these images to specify the dose of radiation needed to treat the tumor. A radiation oncologist will work with a physicist to plan an individualized treatment. After this, individualized TrueBeam STx treatments can be delivered according to a schedule specific to the treatment plan.

During a TrueBeam STx treatment, the linear accelerator can rotate around the patient to deliver the radiation. The radiation is shaped and reshaped as it is delivered from many different angles. Most treatments usually take only a few minutes a day.