GPS for the Body
Available exclusively through Virtua Fox Chase Cancer Center Radiation Oncology in southern New Jersey, our Calypso real-time tracking system keeps the radiation received during prostate cancer treatment focused on hitting the tumor, not the healthy tissue that surrounds it. That’s important because even simple bodily functions, such as digestion and coughing, can cause organs to move during a radiation therapy session, so the prostate tumor may move in and out of the path of the radiation beam. As a result, healthy tissue receives radiation instead of the tumor, which may lead to uncomfortable side effects such as bowel or rectal problems, urinary incontinence or irritation, and sexual dysfunction. Even more problematic, if the tumor receives less radiation than originally intended, the effectiveness of the therapy may be compromised.
So how exactly does the Calypso system work?
Three tiny Beacon® transponders – each the size of a grain of rice – are implanted in the prostate during a quick outpatient procedure. The Calypso System and the implanted Beacon transponders work together during each radiation session to communicate the exact location of the prostate tumor. If the tumor moves outside of the radiation beam, the therapist is immediately alerted and can stop the beam to adjust the position.
According to recent research studies, the Calypso system effectively reduces many of the problems frequently associated with prostate cancer radiation therapy. Overall, patients receiving the therapy report a better quality of life both before and after treatment compared to patients receiving conventional radiation therapy.
For more information and to see if the Calypso system is right for you,