HEAD AND NECK CANCER

What to Expect

An effective, less disruptive treatment option

The Radixact® System, the next-generationTomoTherapy® platform, maximizes radiation delivered to the target — while helping to minimize dose to surrounding healthy tissues. The result is highly personalized treatment designed to significantly reduce the risk of the side effects that too often disrupt the lives of patients during and after treatment. Clinical studies support the use of the TomoTherapy System in the treatment of head and neck cancer and show evidence of excellent tumor control with minimal radiation delivered to surrounding healthy tissues.1, 2, 3, 4

NON-SURGICAL

Radixact treatment is an outpatient procedure that does not require incisions or general anesthesia. Most patients will not require hospitalization or a long recovery period. Radixact treatment also eliminates the inconvenience and risk associated with radioactive seed implants or catheter.

REDUCED INCIDENCE
OF SIDE EFFECTS

The Radixact System delivers the required radiation dose to the target with precision, significantly reducing the most common side effects of radiotherapy, such as dry mouth.1, 4

A faster return to everyday life

With Radixact treatment, the majority of patients can continue normal activity during and immediately following treatment — compared to the typical requirements to limit normal activity for several weeks with traditional surgery. Just as importantly, the Radixact System reduces the risk of common side effects, such as dry mouth, difficulty swallowing, and stiffness in the jaw, protecting quality of life both during and after treatment.

Your Radixact treatment process

INITIAL CONSULTATION

The Radixact System treatment process begins with a consultation with a radiation oncologist who will provide perspective on this as a treatment option specific to your condition. The physician will review your biopsy results, imaging and other medical conditions.

YOUR TEAM

Head and neck cancer treatment with the Radixact System involves a multi-disciplinary team approach, which may include several specialists:

  • Surgeon
  • Radiation Oncologist
  • Medical Oncologist
  • Medical Physcist
  • Radiation Therapist
  • Medical Support Staff

PREPARING FOR TREATMENT

Prior to Radixact treatment, you then will undergo imaging scans so that your treatment team can determine the exact size, shape and location of your tumor, as well as nearby anatomy.

TREATMENT PLAN

Following these preparatory visits, you could return for specific imaging for radiation therapy and treatment planning. Using CT, MRI and/or PET scan data, your treatment team will determine the area to be targeted by radiation, the radiation dose, and identify critical structures — such as the brainstem, spine or glottis – where radiation should be minimized.

The medical physicist will then calculate a precision-optimized radiation delivery plan, leveraging the Radixact System’s sophisticated treatment planning algorithms to help deliver a safe and personalized treatment.

TREATMENT

Approximately one or two weeks after your treatment plan is finalized, you will begin treatment sessions. Treatment sessions are non-invasive outpatient procedures, and nothing will be required of you during treatment. No anesthesia is needed.

On each treatment day, you will be carefully positioned on the treatment couch. The Radixact System acts as both a CT scanner and treatment delivery machine. This unique combination enables doctors to take a CT scan immediately before each treatment. With that image, they can verify the position of the tumor and, if necessary, adjust your position to help make sure radiation is delivered with high precision.

Once the short imaging procedure is complete, treatment delivery will begin. As the Radixact patient couch moves you at a deliberate pace through the center of the gantry, radiation beamlets are delivered precisely to the treatment area from 360 degrees.

You can expect your Radixact treatment to require daily sessions for several weeks. Because the Radixact System can deliver radiation continuously, without requiring interruptions to reposition, the entire treatment process typically lasts 10-20 minutes — including patient set-up time.

POST-TREATMENT

Radixact treatments are designed to reduce side effects and enable patients to return to their daily routines with minimal interruption to their normal activities during or following their treatment.

Your medical team will discuss all possible side effects prior to treatment and may prescribe medication to control any side effects, should they occur. You also should schedule and attend any follow-up appointments.

Find a Radixact Treatment Center

Learn More About Radixact Treatment

References:

1 Leung et al. “Treatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma by TomoTherapy: five-year experience.” Radiation Oncology. 2013;8:107. 

2 Bibault JE et al. “Clinical Outcomes of Several IMRT Techniques for Patients With Head and Neck Cancer: A Propensity Score-Weighted Analysis. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys.” 2017 Nov 15;99(4):929-937.

3 Van Gestel D., et al. “RapidArc, SmartArc and TomoHD compared with classical step and shoot and sliding window intensity modulated radiotherapy in an oropharyngeal cancer treatment plan comparison.” Radiation Oncology 2013;8:37.

4 Chen et al. Intensity-modulated radiotherapy for nasopharyngeal carcinoma: improvement of the therapeutic ratio with helical tomotherapy vs. segmental multileaf collimator-based techniques. The British Journal of Radiology 2012;85:e537-543.

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