Why have Radixact® treatment at the Clinique Générale-Beaulieu?
The Clinique Générale-Beaulieu invests in the latest equipment in order to guarantee its patients the best possible care, maximum safety and optimal comfort. The Radixact® system is an innovative image-guided, intensity-modulated radiation therapy system that allows extremely precise delivery of radiation. In procuring this equipment, the Clinique Générale-Beaulieu is supplementing its state-of-the-art technology platform, allowing even more patients to access specialist, tailored treatment in a welcoming and caring environment that promotes a sense of calm.
What is Radixact®?
The Radixact® system represents the latest generation of the TomoTherapy® platform, which is designed to deliver image-guided, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IG-IMRT) with next-level precision. It is an all-in-one system that allows doctors to carry out imaging exams and deliver treatment using the same equipment and do so via a faster, more precise and more practical procedure.
This is possible thanks to the fact that the Radixact® system is equipped with an on-board kilovoltage computed tomography (kVCT) imaging system and a linear accelerator. Whereas the devices used in conventional radiotherapy deliver a wide beam of radiation, the Radixact® system divides it into multiple narrow beams delivered helically in an ultra-precise manner over 360 degrees, with each beam having the ability to deliver a specific dose of radiation.
At each stage in the treatment, doctors are able to continually adjust the delivery of radiation to the anatomy of the patient in question, so that the right dose of radiation is delivered to the right place at the right time. This makes it easier to target the different regions of a tumour whilst sparing surrounding healthy tissue and organs and thus reducing the risk of side-effects. Automated, smart processes and tools that aid in decision-making during treatment also allow doctors to adjust your treatment based on changes in the size, shape and location of your tumour.
In what area is Radixact® used?
Radixact is used in Radiotherapy. Radiotherapy is a treatment delivered both locally and regionally to fight tumours, either with the aim of destroying them (curative treatment) or of easing symptoms and improving quality of life for patients (palliative treatment).
In precision radiotherapy, it is no longer a case of one or two beams of radiation being delivered, but multiple beams that make it easier to target the areas to be treated from different angles and with the utmost precision. When paired with increasingly powerful software, this makes it possible to exactly determine the position and shape of the tumour in real time during each treatment session.
What are the benefits of the Radixact® system?
The stand-out feature of the Radixact® technology is the fact that its helical treatment strategy enables the best possible dosimetry, guaranteeing cancer patients optimally tailored treatment at each stage in their illness. Its sophisticated tools also offer practitioners the opportunity to employ cutting-edge clinical approaches such as re-irradiation.
• Real-time movement synchronisation – The Synchrony® technology used by the Radixact® system makes it possible to automatically and continually monitor and detect any movement of the patient or tumour and adjust the movement of the beam accordingly. As a result, patients can breathe normally for the entire duration of the treatment. This monitoring capability ensures extremely precise administration of radiation, in particular in the case of moving tumours such as lung and prostate tumours, thereby preserving healthy tissue and vital organs.
• The therapy is provided as an outpatient treatment. Each session lasts around 20 to 30 minutes, including set-up and repositioning.
• Non-invasive, comfortable and painless.
• No anaesthetic required.
• The risk of side-effects and complications is lower than in the case of surgery or conventional radiotherapy.
• Minimum recovery time.
• Daily life can be resumed quickly after treatment.
• Reduced amount of time off work.
What does a treatment session using the Radixact® system entail?
1. Imaging exam
Before the first radiotherapy session, an imaging exam (CT scan, IRM or PET scan) is performed in order to determine the size, shape and exact location of the area to be treated, as well as its proximity to sensitive organs or tissue. This information is used to delineate the ‘radiation field’, i.e. the area to be targeted by the radiation, and to prepare a treatment plan.
2. Planning of your tailored treatment
The data extracted from the images obtained during your imaging exam will be transferred digitally to the RayStation treatment planning system. A qualified doctor will identify the tumour(s) to be targeted and any adjacent vital structures that will need protecting, and will determine the radiation dose and number of sessions required. Based on this information, your doctor will come up with an optimal treatment plan taking into account the prescribed dose. All treatment plans are submitted to all other doctors and physicians in the department for approval.
3. Placement of fiducial markers
If your tumour moves when you breathe, markers may have to be used. This means that your treatment team will put in place fiducial markers (small markers placed near the tumour) to help precisely locate the tumour during treatment. Not all treatments will require fiducial markers.
4. Treatment using the Radixact® system
Once the treatment plan has been drawn up, you are ready to receive treatment using the Radixact® system. You will not need an anaesthetic as the procedure is non-invasive and painless. When you arrive for your daily session, you will enter the treatment room where a radiographer will help you into position on the treatment table. The first time the table enters the scanner, this will be in order to take your daily images. Based on these scanner images, the radiographer will adjust your position by making slight tweaks to the set-up of the table. Next, the table will re-enter the scanner, more slowly this time, so that the system can deliver your daily treatment. The Radixact® system has a ring-shaped linear accelerator; the radiation head rotates around the patient in a spiral whilst the treatment table slowly passes lengthways through the scanner. Treatment usually lasts between 5 and 10 minutes depending on the type of tumour being treated.
It is completely normal to feel a little nervous before and during your radiotherapy sessions. The nerves tend to diminish after a few sessions once you have realised the treatment is not painful. However, rest assured that you will be in constant communication with the operators. You can talk to them through an intercom, and you will be monitored by a camera. The lighting will remain on in the room during your session. If necessary, the treatment can be suspended immediately.
Follow-up imaging exams, usually performed using a CT scan, IRM and/or a PET scan, normally take place during the months following treatment in order to assess how the tumour has responded to the radiation delivered.
Does treatment with the Radixact® system hurt?
No, treatment with the Radixact® system is non-invasive and as painless as a CT scan or a radiography exam. You will hear clicking sounds while the system is running as it calibrates itself in line with your customised treatment plan.
How many times will I have to come to the clinic for treatment with the Radixact® system?
Treatment usually takes place over 1–39 sessions, each lasting 5–10 minutes. Your radiation oncologist will discuss your suggested treatment plan with you.
Will I have to take time off work during treatment with the Radixact® system?
You do not usually need to be admitted to hospital for treatment, nor do you need to take time off work, but this depends on your general state of health. You can discuss this with your doctor.
Le traitement avec le système Radixact est-il pris en charge ou aurais-je un reste à charge ?
As it is an outpatient treatment, it is covered by basic statutory health insurance.
Will I be able to start doing sport again soon after receiving treatment with the Radixact® system?
You will not be prohibited from playing any sport after receiving radiotherapy, although this of course depends on your general state of health.
Will Radixact® treatment affect my sex life?
Many patients notice no difference in their libido or sexual performance. In the event of problems, do not hesitate to speak to your radiation oncologist.
Will I have to continue taking my medication for high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes?
As a rule, you should not stop taking any medicine prescribed by your attending physician or specialist. If this is not the case, your radiation oncologist and attending physician will inform you of the decisions that will need to be made.
Can I go on holiday?
Yes, if you have completed all of your radiotherapy sessions. Your attending physician or your oncologist will inform you of any precautions to be taken.
Is it possible to have radiotherapy twice in the same place?
High-precision radiotherapy such as that delivered by the Radixact® system makes it possible to irradiate the same place twice, or to deliver radiation to different sites. Your radiation oncologist will discuss your specific situation during your pre-treatment appointment.