For more than 40 years the evolution of radiation delivery technologies has been based upon a single objective: maximize the dose to the tumor while minimizing the dose to surrounding normal tissue.
More patients with prostate cancer have been treated with DART at Dattoli Cancer Center than any other center in the world by fourfold. Moreover, DCC boasts having the most sophisticated technologies to achieve DART, providing every patient with a cutting edge experience.
DART has the ability to cast thousands of precisely targeted radiation “beamlets” or “microbeams,”on a 360-degree radius, not only into the prostate, plus a carefully delineated margin, but also in escalating doses directly into the tumor(-s) while de-escalating doses to the urethra. A unique treatment blueprint is mapped out in advance for each patient. With computer planning and three-dimensional imaging techniques, it is possible to more accurately deliver radiation to satisfy pre-defined dose specifications to the tumor while avoiding nearby healthy tissue. Thus, the risk of damaging the bowel, bladder, rectum and other organs is significantly reduced. At the same time, the cancer-killing dose of radiation is maximized on the designated target.
Meanwhile, strict immobilization is required using an individualized “alpha cradle”. A SonArray 4D Ultrasound Guided System is utilized moments before each treatment to ensure that the organs are exactly positioned for the DART “beamlets.” Even the simple motion of breathing can shift the position of the prostate, which is tracked and corrected by a special respiratory gating device. These and other tools allow us to take the 4th dimension of motion into account, ensuring that the right dose is delivered at exactly the right time. Daily localization of the target is essential to optimize therapeutic effects since both patient and organ movement may occur (for example, during treatment, air may enter the rectum pushing the prostate forward or fluid may enter the bladder pushing the prostate down). It should be noted that all the techniques that we use are non-invasive. These routines are implemented with comprehensive checklists that are crucial to ensure accurate targeting on a daily basis.
The actual delivery of the radiation is a dynamic process and is accomplished through the use of numerous 4D devices which allow us to “sculpt” the micro-beamlets in order to deliver the precise dose required.
The Dattoli Cancer Center is the first freestanding clinic in the world to combine DART with brachytherapy to create a revolutionary new treatment protocol.