Precision X-Ray's Small Animal Radiation Therapy Aids in the Fight Against Cancer
X-RAD SmART assists researchers in developing targeted treatment for brain tumors
NORTH BRANFORD, Conn., (Aug. 26, 2015) – Giloblastoma Multiforme (GBM) brain tumors have no cure and the median lifespan for patients after diagnosis is 15 months. However, thanks to diligent investigation, researchers in the Netherlands have created a combination of in vitro drug screening with a spheroid tumor model and in vivo radiotherapy utilizing Precision X-Ray’s X-RAD SmART (small animal radiation therapy) system, which has garnered more effective preclinical research in experimental studies closely mimicking clinical practice.
“X-Rad SmART is an advanced image guided radiation therapy (IGRT) system that allows researchers to capture images and properly treat a specimen without the strain of repositioning it,” said Bill McLaughlin, president, Precision X-Ray, Inc. “The system’s design allows it rotate 360 degrees around the subject, thus improving the total dose delivery to the targeted area while limiting damage to surrounding structures.”
The X-RAD SmART delivers 225 kV photon beams that are millimeters-wide with sub-millimeter accuracy. The unit features fixed circular, square, and rectangular collimators that conform the dose to the tumor. Micro-cone-beam CT (CBCT) works in conjunction with a bioluminescent imager to help govern treatment while monitoring the response from the tumor.
The accompanying treatment planning system, SmART-Plan, is the only commercial small-animal planning software that utilizes a Monte-Carlo engine. The X-RAD SmART computes and delivers highly accurate dose calculations. The researchers were able to generate effective methods of targeting tumors and sparing healthy tissue. Sanaz Yahyanejad, a Ph.D candidate at Maastricht University, Frank Verhaegen, the developer of the treatment planning software for the irradiator, and Marc Vooijs, designer of the study, worked in conjunction to utilize the irradiator to achieve this feat.
The research team injected live mice with glioma cells to induce the presence of a tumor in the brain. Once a tumor developed the scientists used contrast-enhanced micro-CBCT scans to generate a treatment plan for the animals. The X-RAD SmART allowed them to deliver precise conformal irradiation directly to the tumor. After the application of irradiation, the tumor growth was monitored using bioluminescent imaging. There was a significant decrease in the speed of tumor growth that reacted in a dose-dependent manner. A complete overview of this study can be found here.
The X-RAD SmART is continually developing, and as more features continue to be added it will continue to help generate new treatment options in the fight against cancer.
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