Basically any machine that delivers IMRT/IGRT or SBRT are going to be equally safe. The Varian class machines use a method where they continuously deliver the radiation while the gantry is moving around the body. Other machines do a start and stop method. The Varian is not safer, per se, it is just faster. The actual zapping/IMRT from a Varian machine takes about
six minutes. The only real advantage seems to be time, and the much reduced chance of you, and your organs moving around while being zapped. The advantage to the radiation center is that they can treat more people in the same amount of time and thus make more money. Technology development isn't just oriented for client effectiveness, it also generate additional revenue.
As to choosing the center, they will all have to follow the same accepted protocols for safety. MSK is very well regarded and does a lot of PCa work. The convenience to you will be valuable. As already said, it's is the people, not the brand of machine that's the most important factor.
Near the end of the treatment, they sometimes narrow the beam and zero in on likely troublesome areas. In my case, they referred to this as a 3.6 Gy "boost"..
Picture this...The older LINACS, the x-ray machines that deliver the radiation, usually moved into position and stopped, became stationary, while the dose was administered. It would then move on to a new position and fire again..Typically, it would repeat this 7 times during a treatment session. This reduced the exposure to healthy tissue to one seventh of what the target received..With the newer LINACS, the gantry is in motion (Rapid-Arc/Edge) when the beam is activated so healthy tissue receives much less exposure..The RO, with help, writes a treatment plan, a dose volume histogram, so these moving arcs seldom if ever overlap as the gantry can accommodate a wide range of motion, but the target, the focal point, receives the full intended dose..Also, the new machines have a built-in CAT scanner that checks organ position just before the beam is activated...If anything has moved out of position for any reason the beam is aborted until the situation is corrected, and the control room that the techs are in while you're being zapped is most impressive, with an array of PC's and displays.
The company that developed this new technology is Varian and the first generation of these LINACS were called Rapid-Arcs. They were introduced about
ten years ago. It's the minimum you should be looking for. Today, the newest models are even more advanced....Most up to date treatment centers, especially ones like MSK, even satellites being phased out, use this new equipment. Just as important is the skill of the techs and RO's that operate it.
Since you worry about
everything....have you checked out the bathrooms yet, Prato? They come in very handy when relieving yourself of the preparation water. Just do it, already!
Post Edited (garyi) : 7/2/2018 3:26:04 PM (GMT-6)