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Archived HCA Press Releases

GPS for the Body - another first for The Harley Street Clinic radiotherapy service

05 August 2010

Victims of prostate cancer get access to new guidance technology

The Harley Street Clinic, London’s leading independent centre for radiotherapy, has become the first private hospital in the UK to install the new Calypso® System.  The system, combined with the latest radiotherapy technology, can deliver more accurate doses of radiation to a tumour than was previously possible - even with the most advanced linear accelerators.

With previous systems, physicists could position a beam accurately before treatment but during treatment with a patient and their organ moving, they had no idea just how precise the beam actually was.  Now a tumour can be tracked in real time and faster than any other tracking system in the world.

The Calypso ‘GPS for the Body’ System uses miniature implanted Beacon® transponders to provide precise continuous real time tracking of a tumour during radiotherapy.  With conventional machines, as a patient or his prostate moves, the beam of radiation can miss its target, failing to administer the correct dose of radiation and sometimes adversely affecting surrounding tissue.  In prostate cases this can lead to bladder, rectum and bowel damage but the new guidance system with its sub-millimetre accuracy, minimises accidental damage.

Linear accelerators, equipped with RapidArc®, deliver radiation doses much faster than any other linear accelerators and with the addition of the Calypso System, its delivery becomes more precise and effective.

Neil Buckley, Chief Executive Officer of The Harley Street Clinic, said the installation of Calypso was an important new tool in the treatment of prostate cancer.  “We already have the most comprehensive diagnostic and treatment technology capabilities in Europe but it is vitally important to bring the very latest equipment into our centre here for the benefit of our patients," he said.

“We were the first CyberKnife® centre in the UK; we were first with Rapid Arc and the first to have a comprehensive Molecular Imaging Centre with the latest Spect-CT and other new equipment all under one roof.  And now we are the first in the sector to have Calypso,” he said.

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