Vertical CT Imaging
In October 2016, the Northwestern Medicine Chicago Proton Center became the first U.S. proton therapy center to incorporate vertical CT imaging technology, a new approach to using standard computed tomography (CT) imaging technology for treatment planning.
Previously, lung cancer patients undergoing CT scanning and proton therapy were typically treated in a supine, or laying, position. Research shows that when patients are imaged in an upright position, motion within the chest is reduced and absolute lung volumes increased.
Using a ceiling-mounted CT scanning system, along with an in-house designed treatment chair, this new technique allows proton therapy treatment planning images to be taken with patients in a seated position. Since absolute lung volumes are larger in the upright position, we expect to better target lung tumors and minimize radiation to healthy lung tissue and adjacent organs resulting in lower toxicity.
Potential Benefits of Seated Imaging and Treatment:
- Greater degree of comfort for the patient during treatment
- Decreased tumor motion making the proton treatments more precise
Initial Candidates for Vertical CT Scanning: