UPMC Hillman Cancer Center Villa Maria: Continuous Technological Innovation

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center Villa Maria: Campania leadership in precision radiotherapy thanks to the innovative “BrainLab ExacTrac Dynamic” system. An investment of 100 thousand euros by the American Group.

Continuous technological innovation for increasingly personalized and effective care: the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center Villa Maria, the highly specialized radiotherapy center for the treatment of primary, metastatic and recurrent tumors, which the academic health group affiliated to the University of Pittsburgh launched in the province of Avellino in 2018 (accreditation with the NHS dates back to 2019), continues in this direction.

The center is the first and only one in the whole of Campania to offer the advanced BrainLab ExacTrac Dynamic system that for the first time allows to monitor the positioning of the patient not only before, but also during treatment, allowing maximum accuracy in positioning and monitoring activities. It works through the combination of technologies for internal and external surface detection: among the novelties, the introduction of a 4D camera of submillimeter precision that uses a high-speed stereoscopic camera that incorporates as many as 300,000 3D surface points to monitor the patient's position from the outside and detect movement during treatment. Each surface point captured by the ExacTrac Dynamic structured light system is associated with a corresponding heat signal generated by this new thermal imaging camera, creating another dimension where the patient's position can be detected uniformly, with extreme accuracy and very low latency. At the slightest movement of the patient, therefore, the machine automatically stops the treatment and verifies that the movement has taken place in tolerance with respect to the original positioning; If this is not the case, the patient is automatically repositioned. An important increase in terms of treatment effectiveness, which for the patient translates into greater comfort and the safety of receiving radiation only on the target tissue, safeguarding the surrounding healthy tissues. The innovative system also introduces three different types of moldable thermoplastic masks designed to ensure patient comfort.

UPMC's investment amounts to 100,000 euros.

“The installation of the BrainLab Exactrac Dynamic in our center in Campania is a concrete confirmation of our constant commitment to ensure high standards of care for all our patients. People and their well-being are at the heart of all our activities. Being part of the international Hillman Cancer Center oncology network allows us to have access to all the most interesting innovations, both from a clinical and medical point of view, and, as in this case, in terms of technology”, comments Angelo Luca, Medical and Scientific Director of UPMC in Italy and CEO of IRCCS ISMETT in Palermo. “The integration of the new system with the TrueBeam STx accelerator already supplied at our center, allows us to achieve a perfect functioning of positioning and monitoring procedures, including automatic patient loading, gantry- or MU-driven imaging, and automatic radiation blocking with repositioning from outside the treatment room. These high-precision detection and verification capabilities are the key requirements for delivering extremely high and effective doses in precision radiotherapy.”