Receiving radiation treatment for prostate cancer is a delicate process. Seattle Cancer Care Alliance incorporates the latest technology to provide the most precise treatment possible, including special equipment to detect motion and position of the prostate during radiation treatment.
If you have prostate cancer and your doctor has prescribed radiation therapy, there are some important things you should know.
Your organs naturally move during radiation treatment and your doctor cannot predict which way or how much your organs will move. When your organs move during radiation therapy, the tumor may not get the right amount of radiation, and other nearby organs may receive radiation that is not meant for them.
This motion is variable and unpredictable, so it presents challenges to delivering precise external beam radiation treatment.
A company called Calypso Medical manufactures the Calypso® System, now referred to as GPS for the Body®.
This leading-edge technology provides clinicians an innovative solution for target localization and monitoring the prostate continuously and in real time during radiation therapy delivery. The common methods used for target localization don’t have this capability.
GPS for the Body uses miniature Beacon electromagnetic transponders that work with the Calypso System to expertly assist radiation oncologists to accurately align the prostate before each treatment and precisely monitor the position of the prostate at all times during treatment delivery. Accuracy of treatment is enhanced and additional non-ionizing radiation doses are not needed.
The Calypso System displays and records prostate motion—continuously in real time—through an intuitive graphical user interface. Your doctor uses the visual and audio cues to manage prostate motion when the organ moves outside of the thresholds set for your treatment to make sure you get the most accurate treatment possible.
How the Calypso System Works
Three tiny Beacon electromagnetic transponders about the size of a grain of rice are implanted into your prostate in an outpatient procedure, much like a biopsy.
This system excites the Beacon transponders, which communicate with the Calypso System using safe radiofrequency waves.
Your prostate is monitored during treatment. The Calypso System shows exactly where the tumor is at all times during your radiation treatment so that the doctor can make quick, important decisions about your care.