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Patient Care

Therapists treating patient on Elekta Unity

Each patient we treat benefits from a compassionate team of doctors, nurses, physicists, dosimetrist and therapists who treatments at the forefront of radiation therapy. Our department boasts a collection of the most advanced, accurate and innovative technique and devices.

Treatment Devices

Techniques

  • Adaptive Radiotherapy
  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS)
  • Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT)
  • HDR Brachytherapy
  • LDR Brachytherapy
  • Intraoperative radiotherapy
  • Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy

Imaging

  • PET-CT
  • CBCT on Linacs and Gamma Knife
  • MRI (standalone 3T and integrated with MRI Linac)
  • Vision RT

Special techniques

  • Total Skin Electron Therapy (TSET)
  • Total Body Irradiation (TBI)

Equipment details

Elekta Unity MRI Linac

The MRI Linac is the most recent addition to the department of radiation oncology and provides a means of delivering daily adaptive radiotherapy. The Unity combines the imaging quality of a 1.5 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging system and a 7 MV flattening filter free medical linac. Using the Elekta Monaco treatment planning system, each patient treatment is adapted daily based on the acquired magnetic resonance image. Radiation treatment plan adaptations allow for greater sparing of healthy tissue giving greater confidence when delivering high dose radiation treatments such as stereotactic body radiotherapy. Treatment plans can be adapted simply through a virtual couch shift when the patient anatomy is similar to the simulation imaging or can be fully reoptimized when needed by adjusting the contours to the MR image of the day to ensure all target and organ at risk constraints are met. The high-quality imaging capabilities of the Unity MRI-linac enables the possibility of using quantitative imaging such as diffusion weighted imaging to guide treatment adaptation and treatment planning. 

Gamma Knife Icon

The Elekta Gamma Knife ICON is a dedicated stereotactic radiosurgery system designed for to deliver the highest accuracy and precision treatments to the brain and upper c-spine. The Gamma Knife contains 192 cobalt 60 radioactive sources with a half-life of 5.26 yrs. The sources are divided between 8 separate sectors and are arranged in a near 4  geometry for a highly conformal delivery. Each sector has of 4 collimation options, and each of the 8 sectors can move independently of each other providing a large variety of treatment options. The smallest collimator size of 4 mm is perfectly suited for treatment of the smallest malignant or benign diseases. The Gamma Knife Icon allows for patients to be treated with a traditional frame-based approach or a frameless approach for single or multiple fraction treatments using a thermoplastic mask immobilization coupled with a real time high-definition detector system which monitors patient movement throughout the treatment.

Versa HD

Our Versa HD medical linacs provide 5 beam energies, 6 MV, 10 MV, and 18 MV along with high dose rate flattening filter free modes 6 FFF and 10 FFF with dose rates up to 1,400 MU/min and 2,400 MU/min respectively. The onboard imaging capabilities include MV portal imaging, kV imaging, and conebeam CT for patient setup verification. The Versa HD can also acquire a 4D-CBCT to visualize motion due to respiration. The Versa HD is capable of highly conformal 3D deliveries, step-and-shoot intensity modulated Radiotherapy, and volumetric modulated arc radiotherapy. The Versa HD medical linacs are highly efficient radiation delivery systems where most patient treatments within the department are treated.

HDR suite

In 2008, the University of Iowa was one of the first institutions to clinically implement a magnetic resonance imaging-based gynecological high dose rate or HDR program. The MRI-based gynecological or GYN HDR program is credentialled on the EMBRACE protocol satisfying the iterative review of contouring and planning techniques per GEC-ESTRO working group guidelines. The HDR system at the University of Iowa consists of the Flexitron afterloader, one of the most advanced remote afterloading systems on the market, and the Oncentra treatment planning system. The program includes the use of hybrid applicators such as the Elekta VeneziaTM as well as tandem-and-ovoids and vaginal cylinder intracavitary applicators. In addition to the GYN HDR program, an ultrasound-guided, real-time imaging based prostate HDR program is available at the University of Iowa. Through registration with diagnostic magnetic resonance images, the prostate HDR program aims to focus on advanced dose painting for selective boosting of the dominant intraprostatic.

 

Clinics

Many of our faculty members serve in multidisciplinary oncology clinics.