How TrueBeam Works

TrueBeam combines imaging, beam delivery and sophisticated motion management to accurately and precisely target tumors with speed.  

  • TrueBeam in the Bliss Cancer Center at Mary Greeley Medical Center

    The TrueBeam system in the
    William R. Bliss Cancer Center at
    Mary Greeley Medical Center.

    TrueBeam rotates around the patient to deliver a prescribed radiation dose from nearly any angle.
  • An accessory called a multileaf collimator (or MLC) is what shapes the beam. It has 120 computer-controlled “leaves” or “fingers” that create apertures of different shapes and sizes. The leaves sculpt the beam to match the 3-D shape of the tumor. These can move and change during treatment to target the tumor and minimize dose to the surrounding healthy tissue.
  • TrueBeam’s additional functionality provides for the acquisition of a cone-beam CT, a form of CT, using 25% less X-ray dose than compared with earlier Varian image-guided technologies. This means patients can be exposed to less X-rays/radiation.
  • Real-time imaging tools allow clinicians to “see” the tumor they are about to treat. This gives them confidence, and they can target tumors with accuracy measured in millimeters.
  • The system includes a new “gated” option for synchronizing beam delivery with respiration. This helps maintain accuracy as the system changes its targeting whenever tumor motion is an issue, for example during lung cancer treatments. 
  • TrueBeam can be used for many forms of advanced treatment techniques including image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT), intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and RapidArc® radiotherapy technology. Because of this, patients can receive the treatment that is best suited for their specific clinical circumstances.

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