EDGE is the latest linear accelerator dedicated to radiation treatments such as high-precision radiosurgery and stereotactic radiotherapy. Its features deliver a high dose of radiation directly targeted to the tumor within minutes. Thus, it reduces the risk of damage to the healthy organs and increases comfort and patient compliance. Humanitas is the first center in Italy and the third center in the world to use this equipment.
How does EDGE work?
EDGE performs treatments with a technique known as VMAT (Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy) and a feature FFF (Flattening Filter Free) that allows the administration of radiation faster than standard techniques. Its characteristics make it ideal for treatments that involve high doses of radiation and extreme precision (such as radiosurgery and fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy).
The accelerator is equipped with EDGE positioning systems and highly innovative verification systems. The system OSMS (Optical Surface Monitoring System) is able to identify the patient’s body and monitor their movement. This system, in conjugation with the restraining systems such QFIX open view masks, ensures accuracy and it is ideal for the treatment of tumors such as gliomas, brain metastases, small schwannomas and meningiomas.
Calypso is another verification system used in stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). This system detects the location of the tumor during the radiotherapy session. Before undergoing the procedure, small markers known as beacons (a millimeter in size) are placed on the patient through a minimally invasive method, without causing any pain. Through electromagnetic waves known as “GPS” signals, the system detects the location of the lesion and its movements over time. Calypso is then able to target the tumor with greater accuracy, thus sparing healthy surrounding tissue. EDGE Radiosurgery is also used for the treatment of lung cancer, prostate cancer and liver cancer.
What types of treatments are carried out with the EDGE radiosurgery system?
The pre-treatment phase entails:
- The preparation of a custom immobilization system (highly tolerable thermoplastic mask)
- The placement of beacons
- The performance of a CT scan and / or MRI and / or PET simulation, during which images are obtained for the development of a personalized treatment plan
The processing phase involves sitting still during the treatment (which is generally painless and takes up to a few minutes). The patient can resume their normal daily activities after undergoing treatment. Assessment by a physician may be necessary in order to prescribe medication to reduce the inflammatory effects of the irradiated tissue during and after treatment.
What are the advantages of the EDGE radiosurgery system?
- High precision of radiation treatment
- Quick delivery of radiation dosages
- Reduction in the movements of the target
- Greater comfort for the patient
- Enhanced patient compliance
- The possibility of monitoring the position of the target in real time
What types of tumors is the EDGE radiosurgery system used to treat?
The tumors for which EDGE is used as a treatment method are:
- Brain tumors (gliomas, small neuromas and meningiomas)
- Brain metastases
- Early stage lung cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Primary and secondary liver tumors
Who is able to indicate the use of EDGE as a treatment method?
The indication for treatment is given by a radiation therapy specialist after consultation with the patient. It is important for the specialist to:
- Collect information on the patient's medical history
- Evaluate the clinical picture and imaging studies (CT, MRI, PET)
- Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the treatment method