Cancer patients benefitting from this artificial intelligence-powered, personalized radiation therapy
Since deploying Ethos™ adaptive therapy in September 2020, Goshen Center for Cancer Care has completed over 1,000 adaptive radiotherapy sessions for patients with pelvic cancer.
The Ethos system—developed by Varian, a Siemens Healthineers company—combines an image-guided radiation therapy powerhouse with adaptive capabilities to deliver a highly personalized treatment in a typical radiotherapy treatment timeslot. Powered by artificial intelligence, it enables the clinical team to personalize the patient's treatment based on images of the patient’s anatomy taken at the time of treatment. The goal is to better target the tumor and potentially improve overall outcomes with a reduction in dose to healthy tissue.
“With Ethos, we are adapting the machine to the patient, rather than adapting the patient to the machine,” said John P. Lowden, MS, DABR, Senior Medical Physicist at the Goshen Center for Cancer Care. “Ethos, with its built-in artificial intelligence working at the necessary speed, has made this practical—we can complete these treatments in a reasonable timeframe that doesn’t negatively impact patients.”
According to Houman Vaghefi, MD, PhD, Radiation Oncologist at the Goshen Center for Cancer Care, his team has been focused on adaptive treatment of patients with pelvic cancers such as prostate cancer, or gynecological malignancies like cervical or uterine cancer. “This treatment is especially beneficial for these patients because, when treating in these areas, we expect a lot of daily anatomic variability due to physiological processes like bladder filling. Adaptation of treatment plans wasn’t feasible in the past as it would have required putting the treatment on hold, generating new images, recontouring, replanning, and this would have taken several days. With Ethos, we can use real-time contouring and treatment planning in a matter of minutes, with the goal of making the plan even better.”
According to Lowden, during adaptive radiotherapy sessions, the Goshen team is choosing the newly adapted plan most of the time, as opposed to the original treatment plan, having seen that it would enable greater protection of healthy tissue.
The Goshen radiation oncology team currently uses the Ethos system to serve about 8-10 adaptive radiotherapy patients each day. They find that the Ethos system is easier on patients because it runs quietly, and treatments are completed very quickly. The system is also used for conventional image-guided radiotherapy treatments when adaptive radiation therapy is not needed.
“Completing over 1,000 Ethos adaptive therapy sessions is a fantastic achievement,” said Kevin O’Reilly, President, Radiation Oncology Solutions, Varian. “We are honored to be working with the Goshen Center for Cancer Care to help provide patient-centric, personalized care to patients and together achieve a world without fear of cancer.”