Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

University of Florida First Worldwide To Have Advanced Radiation Therapy Machine Dedicated To Research

Date:
May 14, 1999
Source:
University of Florida
Summary:
UF Scientists can use their own linear accelerator, a machine that produces high energy X-rays to treat cancer and other anomalies. The new linear accelerator also will allow faculty to conduct more realistic experiments.

By Victoria White

Related Articles


GAINESVILLE, Fla.---Working only on nights and weekends, University of Florida scientists developed one of the world’s most accurate systems for targeting radiation therapy to brain tumors.

Their experiments had to be done after-hours because an expensive piece of equipment they needed was booked virtually every weekday for treating Shands HealthCare patients.

Beginning this month, however, scientists at the UF Brain Institute can use their own linear accelerator, a $750,000 machine that produces high energy X-rays to treat cancer and other anomalies.

Though linear accelerators are common in cancer treatment centers, UFapparently is the only university in the world to have one dedicated to research. Varian Associates Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., the leading manufacturer of medical accelerators and related radiotherapy products, donated the machine to UF, which built a special vault to house it.

“This machine provides graphic proof that Varian and the other industrial partners who are helping with still more equipment have a very high opinion of and expectations for the new UFBI research program,” said William Luttge, executive director of the UFBI, a campuswide entity that brings together more than 200 researchers interested in brain and nervous system sciences.

He also noted that the addition of the machine, along with the adjacent support lab and computer facilities, completes the RadioSurgery/Biology Lab in the UFBI building, a $60 million facility that opened last fall.

While the new equipment clearly pleases UF scientists, its arrival also bodes well for the development of improved cancer treatment.

“Before, when we had an experiment to do, we would spend probably 50 percent of our evenings and weekends setting it up and tearing it down so that the Shands’ linear accelerator would be ready to treatpatients the next day,” said Frank J. Bova, a professor of neurosurgery in UF’s College of Medicine. “It’s been a very inefficient way to develop new treatments, but that’s how everyone does it worldwide.”

The new linear accelerator also will allow faculty to conduct more realistic experiments.

“Most radiation therapy is given once or twice a day, five days a week for four to six weeks,” Bova said. “But it’s been very difficult to do experiments exploring how normal tissue reacts to this arrangement if you don’t have ongoing access to a machine. Now we will be able to use the same type of radiation delivery schedules that we would expect to use inpatient care.”

More than a decade ago, Bova and Dr. William A. Friedman, chair of UF’s neurological surgery department, developed the University of Florida Radiosurgery System, also known as the LINAC Scalpel. The patented UF system adds to the standard linear accelerator a device for positioning the patient and computer software to produce a tenfold improvement in the accuracy of radiation delivered to targets in the head.

The LINAC Scalpel currently is used in more than 60 treatment centers around the world. At UF, it has been used to treat more than 1,300 patients and is expected to be deployed in the care of 300 more people this year.

In the coming year, the UFBI team, which includes Dr. John Buatti, associate professor of radiation oncology, Sanford Meeks, assistant professor of radiation oncology, a computer programmer and other support personnel, hopes to begin using their expertise to develop technologiesfor targeting radiation elsewhere in the body.

“To do that, we need to develop different systems to guide the radiation,” Bova said. “How you find a liver metastasis is very different from how you find a brain metastasis. You don’t have the rigid skull to use as your reference system. A lot of our research right now is aimed at figuring out what types of imaging devices we need to guide us to these new targets.”

For patients, precise radiation guidance can result in major differences in quality of life.

“When we are able to precisely align the radiation beams to the target site in the body, we can treat a small volume of tissue and exclude more normal tissue. This results in fewer side effects,” Bova said. “Better targeting also allows us to increase the radiation doses in hopes ofincreasing cure rates.”

Faculty also plan to use the new accelerator to explore experimentalstrategies that combine radiation therapy with other forms of treatment.

“The accelerator will enable us to further our studies examining theinteraction between radiation and drug compounds that launch an indirect attack on tumors by interfering with their blood supply,” said Dietmar W. Siemann, professor of radiation oncology.

-----------------------------------------

Recent UF Health Science Center news releases are available at http://www.health.ufl.edu/hscc/index.html


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Florida. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Florida. "University of Florida First Worldwide To Have Advanced Radiation Therapy Machine Dedicated To Research." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 May 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990513112609.htm>.
University of Florida. (1999, May 14). University of Florida First Worldwide To Have Advanced Radiation Therapy Machine Dedicated To Research. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990513112609.htm
University of Florida. "University of Florida First Worldwide To Have Advanced Radiation Therapy Machine Dedicated To Research." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990513112609.htm (accessed December 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Americans Drink More in the Winter

Americans Drink More in the Winter

Buzz60 (Dec. 22, 2014) The BACtrack breathalyzer app analyzed Americans' blood alcohol content and found out a whole lot of interesting things about their drinking habits. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins