What is the TrueBeam® Radiotherapy System?
The TrueBeam™ hybrid linear accelerator system is one of the most advanced and latest technologies available for pinpoint radiation therapy. Using various image guidance systems, the TrueBeam is remarkably one of the most complex and precise pieces of medical equipment used anywhere. Based on a digital platform, TrueBeam can modulate the radiation beam, dynamically destroying tumors while avoiding surrounding normal structures.
Why it's done
By combining image guidance and beam delivery, we can accurately treat tumors that are static or moving, like lung or breast cancers. Using techniques like Deep Inspiration Breadth Hold (DIBH) allows the beam to avoid the heart. Additionally, the system allows us to accommodate moving targets by incorporating image guidance to track and synchronize the movement and treatment.
The TrueBeam can deliver the treatment in record time, in as little as two to three minutes, thus avoiding long-term treatments of other, older technologies. Coupled with its precision, faster treatment is associated with less patient movement that can make the treatment more accurate, thus increasing the effectiveness and decreasing side effects.
TrueBeam radiotherapy is used to target cancer in sensitive areas like the brain, spine, liver, prostate, lungs and gastrointestinal tumors. It may be used alone but often is combined with other cancer treatments, such as standard chemotherapy.
At Northwell Health Cancer Institute, the TrueBeam radiotherapy system is among the many advanced technologies we use to treat cancer while minimizing damage to healthy tissue. By using TrueBeam, our physicians are enabling patients to be more comfortable during treatment by reducing the length of time and minimizing side effects.
All radiotherapies, including those using TrueBeam, are offered in a caring and professional environment by staff who are dedicated to making each patient visit as informative and stress-free as possible. This begins with an in-depth conversation describing the treatment, including what to expect, possible side effects and goals. The personalized treatment also includes careful consideration of current health, family history, age and patient preferences.
All radiation therapies are administered using evidence-based medicine. A multidisciplinary team of doctors, including radiologists, surgeons, pathologists, medical oncologists and radiology oncologists, collaborates on treatment plans to ensure that every aspect of treatment is precisely coordinated for the best possible outcome. This includes ongoing peer review and chart rounds.
Because convenience is a priority, we offer multiple locations for radiation therapy to enable you to obtain treatment near where you live or work.
Research at Northwell
Advances in TrueBeam radiotherapy are continuously happening at Northwell Cancer Institute. With innovations in radiotherapy technology and techniques, we continue to improve outcomes. Through our alliance with leading research organization Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, we participate in investigator-initiated trials to offer the most leading-edge, research-backed therapies to patients.
Northwell Health Cancer Institute is recognized worldwide for its commitment to providing pioneering treatment for cancer patients. The ongoing focus on improving cancer treatments has contributed to significant advancements that are improving the quality of lives and increasing the number of cancer survivors.
What to expect
Prior to receiving TrueBeam radiotherapy, you will be asked to provide a complete medical history and may have to undergo a complete physical examination. Blood tests and other diagnostic tests may be performed. It is important for you to notify your healthcare provider about any sensitivities or allergies to medication, latex, tape, contrast dyes, iodine or anesthetic agents.
Your attending surgeon and radiation oncologist who will be treating you with the TrueBeam will review all treatment options and discuss the risks specific to your treatment.
Because TrueBeam is an outpatient procedure, you will be observed for a period of time and then discharged home. You will not likely have a great amount of pain from the procedure. Over-the-counter medications, such as Tylenol or Motrin, can alleviate any discomfort.
Possible side effects
With TrueBeam, some patients have no side effects at all. However, when side effects do occur, they are typically related to the specific area that are being treated. Side effects of TrueBeam include:
- Mild skin reactions
- Hair loss
- Upset stomach
Most side effects usually go away after treatment ends. However, you may feel very tired for four to six weeks after your last treatment. Talk to your doctor about ways to treat potential side effects.
Cancer is challenging, but you don’t have to go it alone. At Northwell Health Cancer Institute, a wide range of support groups are available to help you cope with diagnosis, treatment and post-treatment issues.