High-tech for more safety and more comfort in radiation therapies: The Radiation Therapy Department at Vivantes Neukölln Hospital is now the first in Berlin and one of the few in Germany to use innovative surface detection systems. High-precision radiation treatments without skin markings can thus be performed on two linear accelerators.
Showering and swimming allowed: No markings on the skin
Prof. Dr. Petra Feyer, Head of the MVZ for Radiation Therapy and Chief Physician of the Clinic for Radiation Therapy and Radiooncology at Vivantes Neukölln Hospital: "The patient monitoring systems with surface scanners that we use not only provide more safety for patients and staff, but also faster treatment and a better quality of life, because patients can wash and swim without restrictions."
Radiation therapies often last several weeks, and until now, markings and sometimes small tattoo dots were placed on the skin after radiation planning. These were important in order to find the area to be irradiated to within a few millimeters and also to protect any nearby organs.
Scanning systems detect every movement and breathing.
The scanning systems now make it possible to monitor in real time the exact position of the patient or the patient's position without external skin markings before and also during irradiation. It works like this: Three stereoscopically arranged camera systems, coupled with polarized light, allow monitoring of the body surface.
This allows the patient to be positioned faster and more accurately, in other words, to be brought into the correct irradiation position. Any involuntary change in the patient's position is recorded and irradiation is interrupted immediately if the position changes beyond previously individually defined tolerances.
Breathing movements can also be detected in this way and, by means of a connection to the linear accelerator, irradiation can be released only during a specific breathing phase, for example.
Special irradiation techniques are now possible
"The use of a surface scanner also enables us to use special irradiation techniques such as DIBH (Deep Inspiration Breath Hold) for special heart protection during the irradiation of breast carcinoma or the use of open mask systems for head irradiation," explains medical physics expert Franz Töwe.
Radiation therapy: More about the clinic and the practice
The Clinic for Radiation Therapy and Radiation Oncology and the MVZ specialize in tumor radiation. Treatment with ionizing radiation has been significantly improved and refined over the last ten years. It is one of the mainstays of cancer treatment. Radiation therapy treatment is carried out in cooperation with the Radiation Therapy Department of the Neukölln Medical Care Center.
The radiotherapy practice at Vivantes MVZ Neukölln is one of the most modern departments for the radio-oncological treatment of tumor diseases in Berlin, with state-of-the-art technology and a high safety standard.