As we recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, we’ll start with the facts. Last year, breast cancer overtook lung cancer to become the most commonly-diagnosed global cancer. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports breast cancer accounts for 12% of all new annual cancer cases worldwide1. To make that personal, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. And although not common there is an approximate 0.5-1% occurrence of breast cancers in men too2.
Today, the fight against breast cancer has three main fronts: health promotion and early detection; timely diagnosis; and comprehensive breast cancer management as indicated by WHO Global Breast Cancer Initiative (GBCI) in 2021.
Radiation therapy is integral in the management of early-stage, locally advanced, and metastatic breast cancer cases. It is utilized in approximately 87% of breast cancer patients3 – accounting for more than 25% of cases in most departments4.
Advances in technology over the last two decades have dramatically improved treatment techniques and accuracy, minimizing doses to organs at risk (OAR) while maintaining excellent local control5. We should all be proud of the advanced treatment techniques and technologies that have made those improvements possible.
However, the projected number of newly diagnosed breast cancer cases is expected to grow by over 40% by 2040, which is about 3 million cases per year. This presents challenges for many countries that need to improve access to quality diagnosis and treatment. The impact of COVID-19 in different world regions remains largely unknown but there have been reports of an increase in the diagnosis of node-positive and stage III breast cancer after an interruption in screening services. WHO is making global efforts to target the whole continuum of breast cancer control in order to tackle the overall burden of this disease6.
That accessibility challenge is at the core of Accuray’s Vision: To expand the curative power of radiation therapy to improve as many lives as possible.
Accuray brings deep inspiration breath hold (DIBH) with surface-guided radiation therapy (SGRT) to the Radixact® System
This Pink October, we’re launching an innovation that promises to expand access to powerfully precise breast cancer treatments for patients around the globe.
VitalHold*Breast Package is intended to provide deep inspiration breath hold treatments on the Radixact System through a fully integrated and automated surface-guided radiation delivery solution. It will allow easier patient compliance and higher breast cancer patient throughput for your clinics.
To put it plainly, VitalHold turns the Radixact System into a comprehensive system for the treatment of breast cancer. This radical innovation enables clinics to treat the full spectrum of breast cancer cases, from localized tangential cases to the most complex volumes, on a single workhorse platform. It allows clinicians to deliver powerfully precise treatments to every single breast cancer patient, without compromising efficiency. And in doing so, will enable clinicians to provide patients with expanded access to personalized treatments that can effectively treat their cancer while maximizing their quality of life.
VitalHold adds new precision and efficiency to proven DIBH treatments
VitalHold technology is a collaborative innovation born out of the partnership between Accuray and C-RAD, a renowned leader in SGRT technology. C-RAD’s proven Catalyst+ HD SGRT technology perfectly fits the Radixact System’s ultra-precise capabilities. And C-RAD’s mission is a perfect match for Accuray, as we both strive together to develop products that enable clinicians to deliver superior treatment outcomes to all patients. Catalyst+ HD projects visual guidance directly on the patient’s skin, continuously tracking and correcting for patient movements — without any tattoos, markers or fiducials.
This will allow clinics to follow DIBH treatment workflows they’re used to, adding the precise confidence of real-time motion management. It gives patients greater comfort and a less-disruptive treatment option. And it gives clinics the ability to deliver hyper-precise DIBH treatments within 10-minute time slots.
Expanding access to advanced Radixact treatment for complex breast cancer volumes
Many of the advances in cancer treatment have happened on the edges — specialty technologies to treat the most complex irradiated volumes. The reality is that patients have limited access to these technologies, as it’s simply not economically practical for many radiotherapy clinics to invest in multiple specialty tools.
Accuray developed the Radixact System to address this challenge, creating a single system that can deliver precision for the full spectrum of cases. The addition of VitalHold will dramatically extend Radixact’s value as a workhorse system — and significantly strengthens the business case for radiotherapy clinics to make the investment in the Radixact System. VitalHold will enable clinics to treat a high volume of DIBH cases without making compromises between treatment precision and clinical efficiency — and to treat the most complex volumes on the very same system.
The Radixact System delivers some of the most sophisticated breast cancer treatments available today. The world’s first and only true helical radiotherapy platform, Radixact gives clinicians the flexibility to adapt radiation therapy to any breast cancer patient’s anatomy, delivering optimal coverage to target volumes with minimized cardiac dose and organ at risk exposure. Fully integrated daily imaging gives clinicians confidence in accurate patient set-up and the ability to reduce margins.
A vigilant commitment to improving breast cancer outcomes
This Pink October, the humbling statistics around the incidence and impact of breast cancer give us a needed jolt of awareness — to support vigilant screening and early detection that is our first line of defense. But we also celebrate continued progress in treatment that keeps death rates on a downward trajectory and gives breast cancer patients more hope than ever for better outcomes.
At Accuray, we’re proud to continue our legacy of leadership in breast cancer treatment with the introduction of VitalHold. Now, clinics don’t have to choose between precision, efficiency and versatility. The Radixact System with VitalHold is intended to give clinicians the ability to treat the full spectrum of breast cases — without compromise. With maximum patient comfort. And optimal patient outcomes.
Learn more about VitalHold for the Radixact System here.
*VitalHold™ is 510(k) pending. VitalHold is not available for sale in the USA. It is not CE marked and availability is subject to regulatory clearance or approval in some markets.
- WHO: Breast cancer (who.int) March 2021
- Treatment options for breast cancer | Breast cancer | Cancer Research UK
- Shah C et al (2021) Advances in Breast Cancer Radiotherapy: Implications for Current and Future Practice. JCO Oncol Pract. 2021 Dec;17(12):697-706. doi: 10.1200/OP.21.00635. Epub 2021 Oct 15. PMID: 34652952.
- Harnett A (2010) Fewer fractions of adjuvant external beam radiotherapy for early breast cancer are safe and effective and can now be the standard of care. Why the UK’s NICE accepts fewer fractions as the standard of care for adjuvant radiotherapy in early breast cancer. Breast. 2010 Jun;19(3):159-62. doi: 10.1016/j.breast.2010.03.029. Epub 2010 Apr 24. PMID: 20456956.
- The Global Breast Cancer Initiative (who.int)
- Arnold M et al (2022) Current and future burden of breast cancer: Global statistics for 2020 and 2040. Breast. 2022 Sep 2;66:15-23. doi: 10.1016/j.breast.2022.08.010. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36084384; PMCID: PMC9465273