BrainLAB gives clinicians a full spectrum of treatment tools
BrainLAB Inc. a provider of image-guided surgery (IGS), stereotactic radiosurgery systems and image-guided radiaton therapy (IGRT) systems showcased components of its line of radiotherapy products as well as new modules that are part of the company's iPlan software platform for treatment planning at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) annual meeting in Denver, Colo., in mid-October. 

BrainLAB's current emphasis is on "bringing in image data and patient information to help the doctor plan either their surgical path or radio surgery or radiotherapy treatment plan," said Jean T. F. Hooks, general manager, Oncology Solutions, BrainLAB. To that end, Hooks added, the company is providing its whole portfolio in a way that it believes clinicians and administrators are looking for.

The company's systems are aimed not only at providing the best and most comprehensive treatment, but also the most efficient.

"A lot of these cancer centers that are free-standing are looking for a very strong return on investment. It's not only about having accuracy in treatment but also throughput," said Hooks.
BrainLAB displayed the full scope of its radiotherapy products at the conference, including:
  • Novalis Shaped Beam Surgery is a dedicated system for non-invasive stereotactic radiosurgery and radiotherapy (SRS/SRT) and features technology for highly precise treatments of brain as well as head and neck tumors, arteriovenous malformations and certain functional disorders;

  • Novalis for Spinal and Extracranial Applications -- a high precision system for cranial and head and neck radiosurgery/stereotactic radiotherapy treatment;

  • ExacTrac Adaptive Gating provides true dynamic image-guided delivery to moving targets such as tumors due to respiration for delivery of highly focused doses. BrainLAB's Adaptive Gating is designed to overcome such obstacles by enabling respiration-triggered treatments; and

  • ExacTrac X-Ray 6D, an automated image-guided radiation therapy system which utilizes high-resolution x-rays to pinpoint internal tumor sites seconds before treatment, robotically corrects patient set-up errors and tracks any patient movement throughout the treatment, all within standard treatment time slots.
The new iPlan software platform is designed to combine all of the information coming from diagnostic images with treatment planning so that doctors can decide what course of action to take with patients. Through the software, physicians are enabled to define the type of dose levels that are appropriate for treatment, said Hooks.

A new component of the platform is called iPlan RT Prostate Automatic Segmentation. This software is designed to make the treatment planning process faster and more consistent, allowing physicians to treat prostate cancer indications with greater accuracy for better patient outcomes. The University of Nebraska Medical Center is the first site in the United States to install the iPlan RT Prostate Automatic Segmentation software, said BrainLAB.

The company's iPlan RT Prostate Automatic Segmentation software features a highly detailed "anatomical atlas" which, used as a template, can be manipulated to visualize a patient's precise internal dimensions through a process called "elastic fusion." This is an efficient contouring process designed to aid physicians in making clearer evaluations and plotting more accurate courses for treatment, said BrainLAB.

Additionally, iPlan includes a number of other new modules, such as:
  • Image - For the pre-planning of diagnostic imaging to identify a target that should be treated through the use of fusion imaging;

  • Dose - The images are then sent to this software module that determines the amount of radiation that is going to be delivered and in what treatment type. Dose will be out before the end of the year;

  • Fiber Tracking - allows surgeons to make best use of DTI (diffusion tensor imaging) imaging information and apply it to treatment plans for navigated surgery; and

  • iPlan.NET - is a tablet PC that allows clinicians to do their treatment planning anywhere. Clinicians can access all of the BrainLAB software via this small handheld computer through the same server.