The Halcyon machine holds an imaging mechanism that produces a high-quality CAT scan plus it houses a treatment unit that delivers radiation.
According to a recent news release, approximately twenty-four million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed each year by 2030. Currently, there is a severe shortage of equipment and clinicians.
This may be the reason why oncologists at the Henry Ford Allegiance told News 10 that the new Halcyon machine is a blessing that can save lives.
Secondly, the new technology delivers Halcyon-quality treatments that enable clinicians to care for a greater number of patients.
Loise Credits Halcyon for Saving Her Life
The Nairobian Pulser Magazine recently published a story about a cancer survivor, Loise Mawira of Kenya, who believes that she would not be alive today if it were not for Halycon. Loise was fighting breast cancer for the second time.
Loise was financially drained from her first bout with cancer and was ready to take a friend’s advice to try herbal medication rather than her doctor’s prescription. Fortunately, after speaking to her doctor again, she opted for Halcyon treatments.
Loise reports that if it were not for the new technology of the Halcyon machine she would “probably be dead.”
World Health International posts the numbers of Kenyans who get cancer each year at 47,887, while 32,987 die as a result of the disease.
About the Halcyon Machine
The Halcyon holds an imaging mechanism that produces a high-quality CAT scan, plus it houses a treatment unit that delivers radiation. These tools enable the Halcyon to target specific cancer tissues which is one of the greatest problems in treatment with radiation. In radiation treatment a cancer tissue may be right next to normal tissue. The radiation technician is charged with doing everything possible to minimize the impact on normal tissue.
Dr. Saini, the doctor at the hospital in Nairobi who attended to Loise, explained that the Halcyon radiotherapy unit works with image guidance to target tumors accurately. This reduces the need for high radiation doses. With the Halcyon, patients are only inside the machine for two minutes.
Importantly, Dr. Saini added that the machine hits the exact location of the tumor so that the chance of affecting the patient’s normal organs is reduced.
Side effects are much less when compared to the older machines. Since the Halcyon requires fewer steps, it takes less time to deliver a radiation dose to target cancer cells.
A Few Small Steps
One of the many new features of the Halcyon is its streamlined workflow that requires nine steps from beginning to the end of the treatment.
The older machines took over thirty steps and the treatment would take a tremendous toll on the patients.
Intrafraction Motion During Prostate and Cancer Treatment
Dr. Haustermans, a radiation oncology chair in Leuven, Belgium, points out that the Halcyon system allows patients with prostate and cervical cancer to be treated in a shorter time and it minimizes intrafraction motion.
There are two components to intrafraction motion: the first involves motion of the bony structures that are caused by a patient coughing, or simply not complying with the clinician’s instructions.
The second is motion of bone as it applies to soft tissue structures. This would be relative to bladder filling or the bowel.
Dr. Haustermans added that the short duration of the Halcyon treatment may no longer require the patients’ to hold their breath during esophageal, breast or lung cancer therapy.
Designed For Comfort
The Halcyon system was designed to relax the patient during treatment. It features ambient lighting and brushless motors that are virtually silent. An integrated intercom offers distinct communication between the patient and therapist.
About Varian Associates Inc.
Varian, the developer of Halcyon, is a diversified, international electronics company dedicated to the design, manufacturing of high technology systems and components.
The company has been offering construction consulting services to lending institutions and property owners for over twenty-five years.
Varian introduced the Halcyon for cancer treatment with the goal of revolutionizing clinical workflow. Their intent is to enhance every aspect of image-guided volumetric intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and it appears that they are on track.