OTTAWA, CanadaMDS Nordion has received 510(k) approval from the US Food and Drug Administration, as well as from Health Canada, for its Monte Carlo electron radiotherapy treatment calculation technique. Developed in collaboration with scientists at the National Research Council Canada, the software provides greater accuracy in calculating the dose required for cancer patients receiving radiation therapy, the company said in a news release.
The Monte Carlo electron dose calculation algorithms will be used in MDS Nordion’s new Oncentra Treatment Planning software. This addition to MDS Nordion’s Oncentra suite of software solutions for oncology operates on a PC platform running Windows XP.
The use of Monte Carlo software in a clinical setting provides greater speed and accuracy in dose calculation for cancer therapy, the company said. In the past, it was only possible to apply Monte Carlo simulations for dose distribution to clinical situations by using the massive computing facilities available to research facilities, or by running the calculations on a large bank of computers. As a result, traditional treatment planning techniques have had to use simplified, less accurate models to calculate the dose delivered to the patient by electron beams.
"The Monte Carlo dose calculations are a significant improvement over previous techniques, calculating in minutes instead of hours. Improved accuracy also enables more complex treatments," said Dr. Joanna Cygler, senior physicist at the Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre (ORCC) where beta testing for the Monte Carlo software took place. The ORCC will begin clinical use of the Nordion software immediately.
New treatment techniques may also become feasible. "Electron beams have certain advantages in radiotherapy treatment, which have not been fully exploited due to the limited accuracy of dose calculations previously available," Dr. Cygler said. "The widespread use of Monte Carlo electron calculations may well encourage new treatment techniques with improved clinical outcomes."
For more information, see www.mds.nordion.com.