An increasing number of Radiation Therapy clinics worldwide are introducing hypo-fractionated treatment techniques into their clinical routine. High quality treatment delivered in a single or just a few fractions minimizes the time a patient must spend receiving Radiation Therapy. Reducing the duration of a treatment course from 6 weeks, with conventional fractionation, to merely a week of hypo-fractionated treatments significantly improves the convenience for the patient without compromising clinical outcome. At the same time, Radiation Therapy departments can save valuable resources and increase their treatment capacity, making high quality care available to more patients.
Especially now, in times of the Covid-19 crisis, hypo-fractionation significantly reduces the exposure of the cancer patient to a possible infection.
Delivering the prescribed radiation in fewer, higher doses poses increased risk and new demands for quality assurance. Quality Assurance of conventional fractionation is process oriented. Clinical staff ensures consistent high performance of the treatment processes and equipment through frequent pre-treatment plan QA and regular machine QA. Possible deviations are managed by adapting the prescription for the residual fractions.
Complex treatment techniques and hypo-fractionated treatment push the limits of conventional QA
Error management and process control have proven to be sufficient for conventional treatment techniques and delivery schemes. But complex treatment techniques and hypo-fractionated treatment delivery push the limits of the conventional QA paradigm.
Error management needs to be replaced by error prevention
Hypo-fractionation moves the focus from the treatment process to the individual treatment session. Pre-treatment QA does not sufficiently mitigate the increased severity of a potential treatment delivery error in hypo-fractionation. Conventional error management becomes insufficient and needs to be replaced by error prevention.
Cone-beam CT and surface-guidance systems reduce the patient positioning-related risk and ensure that the patient and the treatment area are located exactly as planned.
A number of different QA approaches like log-file analysis systems, portal dosimetry systems and various transmission detector systems focus on the accuracy of the treatment beam delivery during the patient fraction. They acquire delivery information during the patient treatment and are able to verify the accuracy of the treatment delivery right AFTER the end of the fraction. While these approaches allow you to focus quality assurance on an individual treatment fraction, they still rely on error management.
IQM is the only system available on the market that VERIFIES the accuracy of the treatment delivery DURING the patient treatment. IQM allows you to focus your QA on each individual treatment fraction, replacing conventional error management with error prevention.
Real-time verification DURiNG the patient treatment
IQM’s unique real-time verification of every individual beam segment detects possible deviations between the prescribed and the delivered treatment dose in REAL-TIME. IQM alarms the user BEFORE the error might impact the patient.
IQM’s unique real-time verification is completely integrated into the treatment planning and delivery process, works fully automated and requires absolutely no user interaction.
Error prevention with IQM: Patient treatment has never been safer
IQM allows you to safely introduce hypo-fractionated treatment deliveries and other new complex treatment techniques into your clinical routine. IQM’s completely automated real-time verification makes quality assurance an integral part of the treatment planning and delivery process. IQM’s completely automated real-time verification provides unmatched verification accuracy independent from the user’s experience and knowledge.
IQM allows you to safely provide the best possible care for your cancer patients.
If you would like to learn more about improving patient safety with IQM, please follow this link to the IQM website.
If you would like to learn how IQM also allows you to minimize your QA time, please follow this link.
If you are using hypo-fractionated treatment delivery or plan to start introducing it into your clinical routine, please contact us for more information about this exciting new application of the IQM System.