In 2017, there were 5,564 registered hospitals in the U.S., according to the American Hospital Association. Many of these hospitals have radiation therapy departments that are offering the most advanced treatments available to date.
ASTRO 2017, the annual meeting that gathers leading medical physicists in the field of radiation oncology, took place this past month from the 24th to the 27th in San Diego. The best and brightest in the field meet each year at ASTRO to discuss advancements in the field in treatment, as well as in patient care and comfort.
Radiation treatment therapy has come a long way in the last few decades. For proper dosage treatment, locational accuracy is essential but challenging to achieve, as the slightest patient movement without proper immobilization would cause the radiation to miss the essential treatment location and possibly harm unaffected areas. In order to avoid this, invasive metal frames that must be physically screwed into the patient’s skull were once the norm. In addition to being painful, frightening and increasing the risk of harm to the patient, these frames necessitated the presence of a surgeon to ensure that the frame was properly placed, and the treatment required a long commitment from the patient that required an all-day hospital stay, if not more time for recovery.
Accurate radiation dosage is possibly the most important part of radiation treatment. Since we all know misadministration will likely have severe consequences much has been done by both end users and governing bodies alike to avoid this possibility.
August 3rd was the final day of AAPM 2017, the annual meeting and exhibition that connects medical physicists with the products and research that are advancing the industry. A plethora of industry leaders and innovators, including Aktina, displayed new products on the show floor and new ideas for the AAPM industry at talks and demos during the event.