About Radiation Therapy
The UCSD Department of Radiation Oncology offers a wide range of state-of-the-art radiation therapy treatment approaches, including the latest and most sophisticated technology available in radiotherapy: The Varian Trilogy Stereotactic system.
- The Varian Trilogy is the first image-guided radiation therapy system specially developed for both conventional and stereotactic approaches to treating cancer
- Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) using Varian Trilogy technology delivers a high dose of radiation to a specific area with extreme accuracy, targeting the tumor while sparing normal tissue
- Treatment with the Varian Trilogy technology is much faster than with other technologies such as the CyberKnife
- The latest Varian Trilogy RapidArc radiotherapy technology reduces treatment times for all types of tumors
Types of treatments
The versatile Varian Trilogy can deliver a variety of therapies for cancer and neurosurgical treatments. Unlike older radiosurgery tools such as the CyberKnife, the Varian Trilogy does not require the use of a headframe attached to the skull to immobilize the treatment area, making treatments much more comfortable for the patient. In addition, the Varian Trilogy is considerably faster than conventional tools – average treatment time is less than 30 minutes, compared to up to 60 minutes for other tools.
Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS)
An exciting advancement in radiation therapy, the Varian Trilogy SRS system delivers high doses of radiation to tumors in the brain, lung, liver and other sites with exacting precision -- in a single visit or limited number of sessions.
- Unlike other SRS technologies, including the CyberKnife, Varian Trilogy is able to deliver treatment in less than 30 minutes - half the time of other technologies
- The Varian Trilogy also avoids the need for implanted fiducial markers, sparing the patient from this invasive and often painful procedure.
UCSD physicians have the most experience using this novel technology in the San Diego community.
Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
The latest advancement in radiotherapy, IGRT is the use of imaging in the treatment room to improve the delivery of radiation. With the patient on the treatment table, the Varian Trilogy provides the technology to localize tumors deep within the body daily prior to treatment, greatly improving the accuracy of each treatment.
The VarianTrilogy is capable of imaging the patient in two distinct modes: diagnostic quality x-rays and cone-beam CAT scanning, both of which allow submillimeter precision and further enhance the ability to eradicate tumors while avoiding surrounding normal tissues. It has revolutionized our capacity to compensate for changes in the patient’s position and tumor during the course of the treatment.
Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
This sophisticated technology uses advanced computerized optimization programs to generate treatment plans that highly conform the radiation dose to the shape of the tumor, thereby sparing nearby tissues.
- Sparing normal tissues greatly reduces the risk of side effects and improves the patient’s quality of life.
- IMRT has been shown to be beneficial for many cancers including prostate, head and neck, brain and gynecologic tumors.
Varian Trilogy RapidArc radiotherapy technology is a new approach to delivering IMRT. Image guidance improves tumor targeting, and IMRT shapes the radiation dose so that it conforms closely to the three-dimensional shape of the tumor. That means more dose to the tumor, and less to surrounding healthy tissues.
- With RapidArc technology, IMRT treatments that typically required at least ten minutes can be completed in less than two.
- Almost any tumor that would normally be treated with radiation therapy can be treated with RapidArc.