Super Accurate Radiation Robots Kill Cancer Cells and Leave Healthy Ones Untouched (w/ Video)

May 25, 2010 by John Messina weblog
Varian's TrueBeam is the latest automated radiation system that can kill tumors with sniper-like precision. Credit: Varian Medical Systems

(PhysOrg.com) -- Traditional radiation therapy has been used for years to kill cancer cells. The disadvantage of using this method is that healthy cells are also destroyed along with the cancer cells. In the past ten years radiation blasting robotic systems have been introduced that can target and fire with millimeter precision.

These new super-accurate radiation-blasting robotic systems have been used in a wide range of cancer treatment and have proven their effectiveness in killing cancer cells while leaving the healthy cells untouched.

Accuray and have been the two big names for years in providing state-of-the-art . Now a med-tech giant Varian has just released their automated radiation-blasting system called TrueBeam. This system provides more accurate targeting of cancer cells than the other two.

Each of these systems work slightly different but they all kill cancer cells in tumors using high energy radiation. The new generation of radiation robots is lowering the rate of dead healthy cells by more accurately targeting the .

The three videos below will demonstrate how each system operates:

Accuray’s automated radiation machine, ‘Cyberknife’, pivots and tilts around you to find the best access point to irradiate the tumor with millimeter accuracy.

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TomoTherpy uses a shuttering system on their machine to achieve similar accuracy as Accuray.

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The latest edition, Varian’s TrueBeam system works in conjunction with their RapidArc software to provide dynamic adjustments with only a 10 ms delay.

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In each system doctors program the desired target area in the body and the machine will pivot and adjust itself to hit the tumor on its own. Each machine can treat a wide variety of cancers ranging from brain to .

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More information: Varian, Accuray, TomoTherapy

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User comments : 5

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virtualist
3 / 5 (3) May 25, 2010
John Messina,

You went way over your head and you did not even know it.

These are not autonomous robotic systems for treating cancer. They are each, totally under the control of a human medical physicist's programmed sequence of steps(which are patient individualized).. each step composed of a melody of programming notes, each designed in different ways by the 3 manufacturers you've mentioned. The medical physicist is , herself, executing this programming sequence as a translation of the radiation oncologist physician's prescription of pure energy , to be deposited in the cancerous tissue.

There is no room for 'snipers', 'sexy, radiation-blasting advertisements', or factual errors when reporting shallow,advertising quality ideas and images to cancer patients reading, this who deserve a more intelligent reporting about the facts of use of these complex systems in radiation medicine.
trekgeek1
3 / 5 (2) May 25, 2010
Lighten up virtualist. This is a robot and it is automated. We program the sequence in a car factory robot and still consider the assembly to be automated. The author never said that the machines will diagnose and cure all without human intervention. interesting article, good job John.
Alizee
May 25, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Caliban
3.7 / 5 (3) May 25, 2010
Regardless- this still represents considerable improvement over the old "breaking eggs to make an omelette" therapy. By no means perfect- but much better.
NickFun
1 / 5 (1) May 25, 2010
If this machine was all it's hyped up to be then it would mean cancer and all its forms would be cured. I doubt it's quite that promising.
fixer
2 / 5 (1) May 25, 2010
It's an advert!
Cancer has to be killed slowly so the body can recycle or dispose of the dead tissue before necrosis sets in.
Cancer has physical mass, it can't be treated as a simple infection you can just zap.
Thats why you have surgery after chemo, to cut out what's left before the patient dies!