News
08/01/2019
Five key advantages Aktina SRS Cones provide when used with Elekta LINACs

The manner in which radiosurgery treatments are administered directly impacts patient outcomes, as well as the duties and tasks of technicians, the time required to set up and deliver treatments, and the myriad costs associated with them. When using Elekta LINACs, Aktina SRS Small Field Circular Collimators, or SRS Cones, provide one of the most precise and cost-effective radiotherapy delivery tools. Here are five key advantages to consider:

  1. Speed and ease of use

Aktina SRS Cones are light-weight, simple, and easy to use. For example, the cone adapter simply snaps onto the Elekta LINAC head without the need for modifications to the collimator face plate. Inter-changeable cones are available over a range of 5 through 40mm field sizes in increments of 1mm to cover the full range of expected treatment diameters: and changing from one size of cone to another can be done in seconds. 

  1. Extreme accuracy

Aktina SRS Cones are manufactured to extremely tight tolerances, appropriate to their purpose. SRS cones are made with lead as the attenuating material and feature a rugged stainless steel exterior that protects the softer inner components and ensures a long, accurate life.

The precision cone mounting mechanisms incorporated into SRS Cones is extremely reproducible without any play, eliminating the need for additional adjustments and alignments. This provides a fast, reliable, and reproducible location of the precision cone to help ensure highly accurate treatments. In most cases, the accuracy of treatment using SRS Cones is completely sufficient and does not require the use of specialized, single-purpose SRS systems.

  1. Built-in Quality Assurance

Aktina SRS Cones provide QA functionality with a “fool-proof” design to ensure consistent treatment accuracy, and are barcoded and register with the application software to ensure proper radiation dosage delivery. Additionally, Aktina SRS Cones feature carved channels and grooves that match corresponding channels and grooves carved into the applicator. As a cone is inserted into the applicator, it depresses specific switches to confirm that it is the proper size cone for the programmed dosage. The control software, which is integrated with the Aktina SRS Cones and applicator, compares the installed cone with the programmed plan to confirm that they match before treatment delivery.

  1. High cost-efficiency

Specialized, single-purpose SRS systems can be very costly. Aktina SRS Cones deliver highly accurate treatments at lower cost with built-in quality controls.

  1. Endorsed by Elekta

Elekta Instrument AB, a world-wide leader in LINAC systems, is a global distributor of Aktina SRS Cones for use in cancer treatments and various other radiation therapies. This further validates the performance, accuracy and cost-efficiency of Aktina SRS Cones.

Radiosurgery is more accurate and effective than ever. The use of Aktina SRS Cones with Elekta LINACs is helping contribute to better patient outcomes. Contact us for more information about SRS Cones and how to make use of them at your treatment facility.

 
07/14/2019
Aktina Debuts New Radiotherapy Patient Immobilization Solutions at AAPM 2019

New Products Complement Aktina’s Extensive Radiotherapy Portfolio of QA Solutions

Congers, NY (July 14, 2019)– Aktina Medical, the industry’s primary source for radiation oncology solutions, is providing an exciting first look at several new products at AAPM 2019, July 14th through 18th in San Antonio, Texas, in Booth #1344. Featured introductions will include PositionPro™, a new pitch and roll correction enabled immobilization system for cranial and head and neck treatments.

Aktina Medical will also be showcasing its industry-leading SpiroCheck Duo automated quality assurance system for the Active Breathing Coordinator, as well as the company’s comprehensive line of immobilization solutions which greatly enhance patient comfort, improving the overall radiotherapy experience and assuring the highest levels of treatment accuracy.

“We are pleased to announce these innovative new products at AAPM 2019 that are designed to help ensure better patient outcomes with the highest degrees of efficiency and effectiveness in clinical settings,”said Nicholas G. Zacharopoulos, COO, Aktina Medical. “We look forward to receiving feedback on these new solutions from experts in the field attending AAPM, as well as our development partners.”

Aktina’s exhibit at AAPM 2019 will also include the company’s impressive array of non-invasive immobilization solutions including the Memorial Cradle2 for body radiosurgery, Respiratory Compression Belts, SenoView Prone Breast System, Axion 1 Carbon Fiber Breast Board and more.

For more information on Aktina Medical’s extensive line of products, call toll free at 888-433-3380, email info@aktina.com or visit www.aktina.com.

 

 
07/02/2019
Aktina Partners with Elekta for Global Distribution of Patented Interlocking SRS Cones

Congers, NY (July 2, 2019) – Aktina Medical, the industry’s primary source for radiation oncology needs, announced that Elekta Instrument AB, based in Sweden, will offer and distribute the Aktina line of patented SRS Cones globally for use in cancer treatments and other appropriate radiation therapies.

“We are delighted to take this step with Elekta, our long-time collaborator and partner,” said Nicholas G. Zacharopoulos, COO, Aktina Medical. “Our patented SRS Cones are a simple, easy-to-use solution that has proven effective in clinical applications. Working with Elekta to make these useful devices available to more clinics around the world is a positive step for the improvement of cancer treatment everywhere.”

The use of calibrated cones in stereotactic radiosurgery has grown in recent years, particularly in clinics that do not have access to the most advanced special-purpose radiation treatment equipment. By using the Aktina SRS Cones, such clinics can deliver highly accurate SRS treatments using their existing general-purpose radiation treatment equipment.

Unlike previous solutions, the Aktina SRS Cone system features lead based interlocking cones with stainless steel sleeves that have carved channels and grooves that match corresponding channels and grooves carved into the applicator. As each cone is inserted into the applicator, they depress (or don’t depress) specific switches and confirm by their own insertion that they are the proper size cone for the programmed dosage. The control software, which has been integrated with the cones and applicator, compares the installed cone with the programmed plan and confirms they match before proceeding. In this way, automated treatment verification lets technicians benefit from fast, simple equipment setup while ensuring they deliver the correct dosage and treatment specified for the patients.

The SRS Cones are only one of the company’s latest advancements for improved radiosurgery accuracy, and patient immobilization and comfort. Other Aktina solutions include its SenoView prone breast system, SpiroCheck Duo® quality assurance system, and the Memorial Cradle 2 immobilization system for body radiosurgery.

For more information on Aktina Medical’s extensive line of products, call toll free at 888-433-3380, email info@aktina.com or visit www.aktina.com.

 
05/21/2019
Five Ways to Eliminate Human Error from Radiosurgery Treatments

Radiosurgery today is better in almost every way than it has ever been before. Generations of equipment and procedural improvements are paying dividends now with better treatment plans, more accurate radiation generation and delivery, more precise beam shape and intensities, better patient immobilization, positioning, and comfort, and many more factors. While these advances have inarguably produced better overall outcomes, there is one factor that rather obliviously resists improvement – and must therefore be eliminated by taking action on other factors. That stubborn factor is, of course, human error.

Despite our best intentions, even well-trained human technicians can occasionally find a way to mis-position the patient or select the wrong beam shape. And every time the wrong treatment is administered, you risk harming your patient. Here are five ways to proactively eliminate human error from radiosurgery treatments:

  1. High accuracy positioning based on fixed patient geometry

Accurate patient positioning is a critical step in radiotherapy treatments, and treatment of tumors in the head and neck area are particularly sensitive to positioning because of the close proximity of other essential organs and tissues.

Today, high-accuracy head immobilization products are available to meet this positioning challenge and eliminate human error. For example, Aktina offers a family of head immobilization products based on a patented fixation method called PinPoint that uses vacuum technology to match a fitted plate to the patient’s upper palate. This approach offers many advantages, but one of the most important is the sub-millimeter accuracy that can be achieved without requiring any action by the patient while offering a firm, fixed positioning reference for technicians.

Click here to see more about the Aktina PinPoint solution.

  1. Help patients remain still with advanced lateral support

Lengthy setup times and difficult hold positions increase the chances of patient movement and procedural errors during SBRT treatments. In the past, bulky and restrictive components were used to immobilize patients, adding undesirable time and complexity to setups.

Today, advanced lateral support systems are available that can cut setup times, increase clinicians’ flexibility, and reduce stress to patients, reducing human errors. Aktina’s Memorial Cradle 2 Lateral Support System, for example, developed in conjunction with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, features a unique modular design that provides active patient support by applying lateral side pressure to increase treatment setup accuracy and reproducibility.

Click here to see more about the Aktina Memorial Cradle 2 Lateral Support System.

  1. Make use of “fool-proof” equipment where possible

Trained clinicians are not fools, but to eliminate human errors, it always helps to employ equipment with built-in “fool-proof” design features as a double-check. One excellent example of this approach has to do with SRS Cones. In the past, regulators in many states took action to ensure that cones are barcoded and register with the application software to ensure proper radiation dosage delivery. However, even these measures remained vulnerable to human error–once the proper cone is scanned, there was nothing registering whether or not that scanned cone was the same cone that was then attached to the applicator.

Aktina offers an interlocking SRS cone system designed to eliminate this type of human error. Aktina interlocking cones have carved channels and grooves that match corresponding channels and grooves carved into the applicator. As each cone is inserted into the applicator, they depress specific switches to confirm that they are the proper size cone for the programmed dosage. The control software, which has been integrated with the cones and applicator, compares the installed cone with the programmed plan and confirms they match before proceeding.

Click here to see more about the Aktina Interlocking Cone System.

  1. Automate the calibration process

Spirocheck DuoAdjustable equipment requires periodic calibration to ensure treatment accuracy. Some clinicians, however, are still using calibration processes that depend on human actions, and can therefore vary between operators, or even be performed inaccurately. One example of this is the calibration of active breathing coordination systems, or ABCs. The older method for calibrating an ABC system was to use a physical plunger to simulate patient breathing. With this method, however, the rate of plunger movement, which is important to calibration accuracy, is difficult for technicians to control, leading to calibration inaccuracies and to other human errors.

Today, there is an automated option for calibrating ABC systems – called the Spirocheck Duo calibration system from Aktina – that eliminates this human-induced variation. Like the traditional calibration approach, it uses a plunger to deliver a known volume of air to the ABC, but instead of being manually operated, it is powered so that the rate of the air delivery can also be controlled in a repeatable, accurate manner. As a bonus, the entire calibration and operational check takes less than 5 minutes, so the calibration be performed daily at a minimum, and if desired, as often as before each patient.

Click here to see more about the Aktina Spirocheck Duo calibration system.

  1. Use the latest laser positioning technology

At the end of the day, positioning can only be as accurate as your points of reference. And, variations in human perception and positioning judgment can lead to unwanted positioning errors and variability.

Aktina provides the latest LAP laser positioning guides that transfer the position of fixed room reference points into 3D space, and thereby to the LINAC setup and then to the patient. During setup, calibration, and quality assurance phases, laser reference guides project the LINAC isocenter and reference alignment lines, making these references visible and revealing any discrepancies with the phantom or patient positioning. Using these guides, the patient can be repeatedly and accurately positioned in 3D space and aligned in all three axes, reducing the chances of human error negatively affecting the treatment.

Click here to see more about the LAP Room Laser Systems from Aktina.

Radiosurgery today is better in almost every way than it has ever been before. You can help your well-trained human technicians make sure that every treatment is as accurate as it can be by taking action to eliminate human errors in patient positioning, equipment calibration, and treatment setup.

Aktina is proud to provide the latest, most advanced offerings in support of radiotherapy treatment – creating a win-win situation for treatment providers, patients, and better outcomes. Contact us for more information about how we can improve your radiation treatment workflows.

 
05/15/2019
Increasing Radiotherapy Patient Value with Improved Calibration and Immobilization Solutions

When examining radiation treatment regimens for patients, how can we define increasing value? For many parts of our daily lives, value is difficult to define – because value itself is at least in part defined by each consumer, and thus value assessments for any particular item or service vary from person to person. Indeed, economists often simply say that something is valued, or worth, whatever someone is willing to pay for it. For radiation treatments, we believe we can go further to show how treatment accuracy and improved immobilization methods will positively impact the value for patients.

For example, we can say that because the very purpose of a prescribed radiation treatment is to battle a disease or condition, the value of that treatment is directly linked to the accurate delivery of that prescribed treatment. Thus, all else being equal, a more accurate delivery of the prescribed treatment delivers more value to a patient than would an inaccurate delivery.

And, if the accuracy of the treatment regimen is held constant, at least two other factors would affect the treatment value for patients – the time required for that treatment, and the comfort of the patient during treatment. In both these cases, we propose that an improvement in either of these factors – that is, a time reduction or an improvement in comfort – would be valued by the patient and thereby increase the overall value of that treatment. In reality, these two factors are not completely independent, as longer setup and treatment times can also negatively patient comfort.

Given these conditions, how can calibration and improved immobilization affect these factors? In the first factor, treatment regimen accuracy, improvements in positioning accuracy or the accuracy of the radiation delivery itself would add to patient value. In a similar way, any decrease in patient positioning and treatment times or increase in patient comfort would also add to patient value.

Considering all these factors, it becomes clear that calibration could be the most important activity that affects multiple patient value factors. Calibration benefits a wide range of treatment-related elements, including:

  • initial patient positioning for imaging
  • the repeatability of patient positioning for treatments
  • the time required for accurate positioning
  • the repeatability of breath holding for abdominal treatments
  • the correct selection and installation of beam-forming cones
  • the correct delivery of radiation intensity
  • and more

Aktina offers a wide range of equipment calibration tools and supporting devices, including phantoms, laser positioning systems, and spirometers. The use of these tools to calibrate radiation treatment equipment will result in more accurate treatment delivery, and thus higher value for patients.

Spirocheck DuoIn addition, some of these tools are automated in such a way as to reduce the chances of human error while also reducing the time required for calibration. This is a win-win situation that benefits both patients and treatment providers in multiple ways as described above. A good example of this is the Spirocheck Duo calibration system that provides automated calibration for ABC systems. Like the traditional calibration approach, it uses a plunger to deliver a known volume of air to the ABC, but instead of being manually operated, it is powered so that the rate of the air delivery can also be controlled in a repeatable, accurate manner. As a bonus, the entire calibration and operational check takes less than 5 minutes, so the calibration be performed daily at a minimum, and if desired, as often as before each patient while saving considerable technician time.

Another area that benefits from improved products and procedures is patient immobilization. There have been recent advancements in abdominal, body and cranial radiosurgery immobilization techniques that are non-invasive, help ensure treatment accuracy, and provide a higher degree of patient comfort – a win-win-win situation. For example, Aktina took a unique approach to SBRT immobilization with the introduction of the Memorial Cradle 2 Lateral Support System, developed in conjunction with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The new system features a unique method for immobilization that increases accuracy and reproducibility while taking less time and reducing patient stress. Improved immobilization products and procedures are also available for cranial radiosurgery and abdominal radiotherapy, extending these value benefits to a broad range of patients.

Contact Aktina Medical to learn more about how you can increase your treatment value for patients with improved calibration and patient immobilization solutions.

 
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