The Elekta Agility system is a state of the art; computer controlled linear accelerator. It is used in conjunction with another new piece of equipment, a 4-D CT simulator. The 4D simulator uses CT scan imaging that accounts for patients' breathing and movement to pinpoint tumor locations with extreme precision. This new equipment will be used to treat different types of malignancies, including those of the lungs, pancreas and liver and metastases to the spine.
"What it does is help us better customize treatment for patients, whether their tumors are deeper or more superficial and whether they need higher- or lower-dose energy beams," says Alison Grann, MD, chairman of radiation oncology at Saint Barnabas. "It's a way to target very small tumor volumes with very high-dose targeted radiation therapy. So especially for a small lung cancer . . . it's been shown to be very effective at curing many of these tumors equally or better than surgery alone."