A recent publication of D. Jaffray. et al in Nature Cancer (Sept. 2023) titled
highlights improving outcomes in cancer control due to the significant progress in radiation therapy over the last years.
It also addresses the challenges in making this proven therapy available to cancer patients everywhere.
One of the challenges discussed in this article is “exploiting technological advances for safety and quality”.
The authors write that “Radiotherapy is among the most effective, but also, the most hazardous treatment modalities, requiring meticulous attention to safety and quality.
In contrast to surgery, complications caused by radiotherapy often occur late, months or years after treatment. Radiotherapy application must therefore be combined with zero tolerance for radiation errors and accidents and zero deviation from prescription if evidence-based results are expected. The recent focus on high-dose-per-fraction prescriptions and high dose rate treatment delivery reinforces the need for strict safety and quality standards.
Fortunately, these innovations are being matched by innovations in quality assurance and quality control.
New approaches leverage highly integrated systems that provide independent monitoring of the combined intensity and shape of the radiation beam in real time.”
The Integral Quality Monitor (IQM) System is a pioneering solution in the field of radiotherapy that responds to the many challenges brought about by the complexities of cancer treatment, including safety, precision, and quality assurance.
IQM facilitates real-time verification, error detection, and quality control, thereby enhancing the precision and safety of radiotherapy treatments.
Here is a detailed breakdown of how IQM tackles the various challenges of modern radiation therapy:
- Technology Integration
The technology utilized in IQM, such as its spatially sensitive large-area ion chamber and calculation algorithm, facilitates real-time monitoring of radiotherapy beams. This real-time monitoring allows for the validation of beam delivery by comparing the measured and predicted signals for each beam segment.
- Real-time Monitoring
IQM enables real-time verification of treatment delivery, ensuring that the treatment is delivered exactly as planned. IQM verifies every beam segment, providing real-time Quality Assurance for even the most advanced treatment techniques.
- Real-time error detection
IQM detects treatment delivery errors in real-time, including those related to Multi Leaf Collimator (MLC) errors, allowing for immediate corrective action.
- Automated workflow
IQM offers a fully automated end-to-end verification process with no additional workload on medical staff. This includes automated data import, patient creation, reference calculation, patient synchronization, data acquisition, data processing, and treatment verification, among other automated processes.
- Error sensitivity and Quality Control
IQM’s sensitivity to error detection is highlighted in various studies. For instance, it has been shown to detect systematic open/close leaf position and leaf shift errors effectively. IQM also demonstrates sensitivity to dose differences and can identify the exact position where an error is occurring during treatment delivery. If the error falls outside user-defined tolerance levels, a clinical alarm is triggered to interrupt the treatment.
- Enhanced Quality Assurance
Through its automated workflow, IQM minimizes the chances of human error, thereby significantly enhancing the quality and safety of radiotherapy treatments. By providing real-time feedback and automated error reporting, IQM ensures that any discrepancies in treatment delivery are immediately identified and corrected.
IQM – Enhancing the precision, quality, and safety of your treatment delivery process.