News
07/17/2018
Aktina Features New SpiroCheck Duo® ABC Quality Assurance Solution at AAPM 2018

Hosting Free Training Sessions on New SpiroCheck Duo in Booth #1113

Aktina Medical, the industry’s primary source for radiation oncology needs, is publicly debuting the recently upgraded SpiroCheck Duo® quality assurance system for Active Breathing Coordinator (ABC) systems at AAPM 2018, July 29th through August 2nd in Nashville, TN. To support the launch of SpiroCheck Duo, Aktina Medical will be hosting free training sessions on the new system throughout the show in booth #1113. Aktina Medical will also be featuring its comprehensive line of immobilization solutions which greatly enhance patient comfort, improving the overall radiotherapy experience and assuring the highest levels of treatment accuracy.

Accurate to within 1.25%, the new SpiroCheck Duo ensures precise readings and performance of designed for use with ABC systems in critical radiotherapy planning and treatment. A Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) compliant device, SpiroCheck Duo completes a full calibration of the ABC’s spirometry and balloon valve in less than two minutes to help minimize downtime.

“Aktina Medical’s new SpiroCheck Duo easily and quickly verifies the accuracy of ABC’s to within 1.25%, so radiotherapy professionals can rest assured that they are providing optimal patient care,” said Nicholas G. Zacharopulos, COO, Aktina Medical.

The SpiroCheck Duo features a precision machined piston with a 1-3-liter calibrated volume displace connected to a linear actuator, creating sinusoidal tidal volume. The completely automated front panel LCD screen displays all Pass/Fail test results without the need to connect the system to an ABC system for post processing data analysis. PC connectivity allows for creating and printing of QC reports.The SpiroCheck Duo is compatible with ABC versions 2 and 3.

Previously, the only option was manual accuracy testing, which involved the use of hand-held syringes. This process has several drawbacks, including the inability to test the balloon valve functionality, difficulty in replicating the patient’s breathing, and operator error such as pushing too fast or too slow.

Aktina Medical is also displaying an impressive array of patient non-invasive immobilization solutions including the company’s popular PinPoint for cranial radiosurgery, Memorial Cradle2 for body radiosurgery, Respiratory Compression Belts, SenoView Prone Breast System, Axion 1 Carbon Fiber Breast Board, Elkta Active Breathing Controller, as well as a comprehensive offering of thermoplastics and assorted accessories.

 
06/28/2018
Advanced SBRT Immobilization Solutions Improve Patient Treatment and Comfort with Higher Cost-Efficiencies

Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) has advanced on many levels in recent years with significant developments in new radiotherapy technologies and the manner in which these treatments are administered – producing better overall results. An important component in this equation involves new immobilization solutions that improve patient comfort as well as treatment accuracy while actually reducing overall costs.

As with all radiotherapy treatments, the effectiveness of SBRT is largely dependent on locational accuracy, yet the slightest patient movement can cause the radiation to miss the essential treatment location and possibly harm unaffected areas. Traditionally this meant that clinicians needed to employ bulky and restrictive components to immobilize patients. Aside from causing patient discomfort and added anxiety, these immobilization components are typically quite bulky making them difficult for clinicians to manipulate and increasing set-up time, in addition to requiring substantial storage space. 

Aktina Medical took a unique approach to SBRT immobilization with the introduction of its Memorial Cradle 2 Lateral Support System. Developed in conjunction with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the Memorial Cradle 2 features a unique modular design that increases clinicians’ flexibility and streamlines workflow processes, while causing less stress to patients undergoing treatment. The system’s lateral support paddles mount directly to the treatment couch eliminating the need to mount and adjust additional accessories or hardware. This unique method for patient allows for excellent flexibility in SBRT positioning with a direct index to table crossbar and paddle sets.

There are numerous benefits to this approach including: Active patient support by applying lateral side pressure to increase treatment setup accuracy and reproducibility; modularity of design that improves cost-effectiveness by requiring fewer components and reduces storage space requirements; the elimination of bulky overlays minimizes attenuation and increases treatment options and flexibility; universal compatibility with virtually any treatment or CT couch top.

Based on direct input from clinicians in the field, we will continue to enhance the Memorial Cradle 2 SBRT immobilization solution with the addition of new and even more efficient modular components further improving the prospect for better overall patient treatment and recovery.

For more information visit: http://www.aktina.com/product-category/body-radiosurgery/sbrt/

Download our catalog here.

 
06/20/2018
The Elekta ABC System Benefits from the Latest Aktina Medical Mouthpiece

Respiratory motion in image-guided radiotherapy remains a challenge to the safe and effective delivery of these treatment regimens. Movement of internal organs in the abdomen due to patient breathing negatively affects imaging accuracy, particularly for the lungs and nearby organs, and can even make dose-calculations difficult in some cases. Motion during treatment also reduces the effective dosage on the tumor while exposing surrounding normal tissue to unwanted exposure to radiation.

To alleviate movement during abdominal radiotherapy, much of the radiation oncology community rely on the Elekta Active Breathing Coordinator™ (or “ABC”) which provides a consistent, repeatable patient breath hold, taken with the same volume every time. The solution allows operators to collect images during a breath hold, and irradiate during an identical breath hold, removing the effects of motion for more accurate treatment. 

One key to the successful use of the ABC system is increased patient comfort and confidence, which is achieved via proper mouthpiece fit. Aktina Medical has recently updated the design of its ABC mouthpieces to provide even greater patient comfort and flexibility. These new devices are of the highest quality, and individually packaged for one-time use after every radiotherapy session. Each ABC mouthpiece kit includes a mouthpiece itself, an air filter, nose clips and connective tubing.

The materials and design of the mouthpiece provide a comfortable seal that minimizes patient effort and stress, making its use easier for both the patient and the technician. The connection tubing includes a new swivel elbow arrangement designed to allow for optimal positioning, which again minimizes effort and stress during imaging and treatment.

The combination of comfort and flexibility built into the design of Aktina ABC mouthpieces also convey high quality and confidence to patients, minimizing any added trauma associated with radiotherapy. And because the comfortable mouthpiece also forms a reliable seal, the accuracy of the breathing volume measurement is improved. Accurate volume measurements also improves correlation between the imaging and treatment positions, which in turn improves overall treatment accuracy.

The new Aktina ABC mouthpieces are a win-win for patients and for treatment providers. Greater comfort and confidence, supporting higher imaging and treatment accuracy, has the potential to lead to better outcomes.

 
05/08/2018
Aktina Introduces New Quality Control Appliance

Congers, NY (May 8, 2018) – Aktina Medical, the industry’s primary source for radiation oncology needs, today announced the introduction of its new SpiroCheck Duo® quality assurance system designed for use with an Active Breathing CoordinatorTM (ABC). Accurate to within 1.25%, the new Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) compliant device helps ensure precise readings and performance of ABC systems in critical radiotherapy planning and treatment. The SpiroCheck Duo completes a full calibration of the ABC’s spirometry and balloon valve in less than two minutes to help minimize downtime.

“Radiation therapy requires comprehensive quality assurance procedures to ensure precise readings and treatment delivery,” said Nicholas G. Zacharopulos, COO, Aktina Medical. “With Aktina’s new SpiroCheck Duo, the accuracy of ABC’s can be easily and quickly verified to within 1.25%, so treatment providers can rest assured that they are providing the optimal patient care.”

The SpiroCheck Duo features a precision machined piston with a 1-3-liter calibrated volume displace connected to a linear actuator, creating sinusoidal tidal volume. The completely automated front panel LCD screen displays all Pass/Fail test results without the need to connect the system to an ABC system for post processing data analysis. PC connectivity allows for creating and printing of QC reports. The SpiroCheck Duo is compatible with ABC versions 2 and 3.

Previously, the only option was manual accuracy testing, which involved the use of hand-held syringes. This process has several drawbacks, including the inability to test the balloon valve functionality, difficulty in replicating the patient’s breathing, and operator error such as pushing too fast or too slow.

 
04/13/2018
Quality Control Ensures Precise Readings and Performance in Critical Radiotherapy Planning and Treatment

According to a New England Journal of Medicine article titled Recent Developments in Radiotherapy, it is estimated that 470,000 patients receive radiotherapy each year in the United States1.  As many as half of those will receive radiotherapy for cancer. Radiation is a common treatment for some cancers by using high-energy particles or waves, such as x-rays, gamma rays, electron beams or protons to destroy or damage cancer cells.

Defining the extent of a tumor is a critical first step in defining and planning radiation treatments since accurate location reduces the chance of unintentional radiation exclusion or inclusion. Various internal body parts including lungs, esophagus, liver and so on move with breathing, and respiratory motion varies daily, affecting the defining of the treatment field. The amount a tumor can move during breathing can vary widely as well. Simply adding treatment margins to cover the limits of motion or increasing irradiated volume is neither safe nor recommended as this results in an increase in the volume of normal tissues being exposed to high dose treatment.

One method to overcome the problem of tumor movement in patients treated with radiotherapy is to restrict tumor motion with the Active Breathing Coordinator™ (ABC) device. The Active Breathing Coordinator device increases the accuracy of the treatment by reducing the amount the organs in your chest and abdomen move by holding your breath for you. It’s a non-invasive device designed with a mouthpiece that is attached to a digital spirometer to measure the respiratory trace. The patient’s nose is pegged as well to prevent nasal respiration.

The technique requires comprehensive quality assurance procedures to ensure precise readings and treatment delivery. Until recently, the accuracy of the Active Breathing Coordinator and quality of results had to be assessed and manually verified. Manual testing typically involves checking the flow-sensors for holes, clogging, channel plugging, or excess moisture. The use of hand-held syringes to complete these tests had several drawbacks, including the inability to test the balloon valve functionality, difficulty in replicating the patient’s breathing and operator error such as pushing too fast or too slow and causing false readings. Constant or heavy use meant more frequent checks and testing which had the potential to decrease the number of patients that could be seen.

Now, performance accuracy and functionality of the Active Breathing Coordinator’s spirometry and balloon valve can be tested in under two minutes with the RoHS compliant Aktina SpiroCheck Duo® quality control device. The extremely accurate system features a precision machined piston with a 1.3-liter calibrated volume connected to a linear actuator, creating sinusoidal tidal volume. The completely automated front panel LCD displays clear results. PC connectivity allows for creating and printing of QC reports and retrospective analyses.

While QA/QC policies and procedures for ABC usage may differ from medical facility to medical facility, the quality control procedures enabled by the Aktina SpiroCheck Duo device ensures the facility knows exactly how the ABC is performing each and every time.

Sources:
1http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMra1608986?af=R&rss=currentIssue&