The prostate can move during radiation treatment as a result of breathing or movement in the intestines. Radiation oncologists tend to enlarge the treatment area to make sure the moving prostate is irradiated. By doing this, healthy tissue near the prostate may also be affected by the radiation, leading to a high rate of urinary, bowel and sexual side effects.
The Calypso 4D Localization System uses an advanced treatment method to deliver focused doses of radiation with greater accuracy to prostate cancer patients receiving external beam radiation therapy.
Also known as “GPS for the Body”, this technology continuously tracks movement of the prostate in real time and concentrates radiation to the tumor.
Prior to this treatment, ultrasound guidance is used to implant three electromagnetic Beacon transponders, each about the size of a grain of rice, into the prostate through the rectum. The 4D electromagnetic array sends signals to the implanted transponders for activation. In turn, the transponders then send out safe radiofrequency waves that communicate with the Calypso machine.
This gives the physician the ability to track the prostate motion to sub-millimeter accuracy during radiation treatment. By targeting cancer cells and avoiding nearby healthy tissues, Calypso protects the bladder, colon and other critical healthy tissue.
By using this technology, common side effects of radiation treatment for prostate cancer, such as incontinence and erectile dysfunction, may be greatly minimized.
Calypso is currently FDA approved for use in the treatment of prostate cancer. This promising technology may eventually be used in the treatment of several other types of cancer.