What Capabilities Does the Radiosurgery System Offer the Cancer-Treatment Team?

Image-guided computer targeting
of a brain tumor by an SRS system.

The full range of technology options in radiation therapy

Though it's called radiosurgery, the treatment does not involve any incisions.  Radiosurgery painlessly shrinks or eliminates tumors and other abnormalities, using highly controlled beams of radiation.  It enables the radiation-therapy team to deliver higher doses of radiation in fewer treatment sessions than ever before possible.

Image-guided radiotherapy technology marks a new era of cancer care.  Locking the information in radiologic images (x-ray, CT, and MRI) into computer targeting of therapeutic radiation allows the radiation oncology team to direct treatment with a level of precision not previously possible. 

Aria's system can deliver both conventional and stereotactic radiation.  But radiosurgery uses the most sophisticated combination of these features:

  • fractionated radiation therapy.  Instead of using a single large dose of radiation, the team breaks the total treatment into a number of smaller applications.
  • IMRT.  Intensity-modulated radiation changes the power of the treatment beam for different areas of tissue.
    Radiosurgery breaks treatment into multiple beams, delivers them in different intensities, and shapes them – so that their added affect kills tumor tissue but spares healthy tissue.
  • 3D conformal radiotherapy.  Feeding radiologic images into a treatment-planning computer, the team designs radiation exposure that conforms to the shape of the tumor and that avoids healthy tissue.

Theses strategies are made possible today because radiation oncology systems can “fix” patients, and thus their tumors, in a given position and retarget the exact position repeatedly.  With reference to an exact point, the team can then deliver treatment stereotactically, permitting it to use 3-D coordinates to safely irradiate and destroy the tumor in multiple treatments (at a single visit or multiple visits). 

Note: The ability to rotate to different angles and use onboard imaging just prior to treatment are two advantages of Aria's Trilogy sysem over the Gamma Knife (another type of radiosurgery machine used at other advanced centers for similar treatments.)

Compared with many conventional steps in cancer treatment, these newer capabilities also help make treatment, recovery, and healing faster.  Patients can resume normal activities more quickly after care. 

Learn more about the benefits of radiosurgery.