FAQS

It's understandable that you and your loved ones have questions before choosing and beginning your radiation treatment. Please find some of the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about your treatment and AlignRT®.Visit our blog and resource pages for more information. Our team is here to support you in any way we can. You can always contact us directly here.

I’ve been told I’m having a “Deep Inspiration Breath Hold” treatment. What should I do to prepare?

The procedure is used often for patients with left-breast cancer, plus some other conditions, to reduce the negative side-effects of radiation. To prepare, follow the advice of your physician, which is typically to practice holding your breath for up to 20-30 seconds at a time, usually 2-8 times per practice session. This is what happens during DIBH treatments, so if you are ready for it, it will be easier for you. Also, if you are ready for DIBH, it enables the technique to be carried out more quickly, so you spend less time on the treatment table.

How does AlignRT® assist in my radiation therapy?

AlignRT® provides information to the radiation therapist to help quickly and accurately position you before treatment. AlignRT® then monitors your movement during radiation delivery. You may not even know it, but AlignRT® may have reduced the need to put equipment around you (like a closed face mask) to keep you in the correct position. Finally, AlignRT® can even pause the radiation if you move out of the intended position. All of this helps ensure that your treatment is as safe, quick and accurate as possible.

What will I experience during my treatment?

The only thing you may notice from AlignRT® is the red light shining from the camera units. The red light indicates that you are safely being monitored by AlignRT, which will provide continuous updates to the radiation therapists of your position.

Will I need tattoos or marks on my skin?

AlignRT® uses thousands of reference points of your skin’s surface and can eliminate the need for tattoos and skin marks for certain cases. Ask your physician whether this may be applicable to your specific situation.

Is AlignRT® really as accurate as tattoos or skin marks?

AlignRT® uses thousands of virtual points to ensure you are in the right position – versus three to five physical points with tattoos or marks. Several studies1-3 have also suggested this to be the case. Many of the centers using AlignRT® have actually performed their own comparison versus tattoos and found that AlignRT gives more accurate positioning as well as faster treatment sessions2. And remember – AlignRT® is also used throughout treatment to ensure that if you move from the optimal treatment position, the radiation can be paused.

How does AlignRT® work?

During the treatment planning (simulation) sessions, your radiation team will find the right body position for you to be in during treatment and take an image with a CT scanner.

AlignRT® uses information from this image to monitor where you should be versus where you are. AlignRT® then provides information to the radiation therapist on how to position you for treatment such that the radiation will be delivered to the correct location. Once you are in the right position for treatment, AlignRT® monitors your surface for any movement out of the intended position, which can be linked to the treatment delivery machine to automatically pause radiation if required.

The real time monitoring from AlignRT® helps to ensure that you are positioned quickly and only treated when you are in the intended position.

Where is the nearest treatment center to me that uses AlignRT®?

You can find out where your nearest center is located using our Find a Treatment Center page. Input your city or ZIP code into our map to find convenient centers that use AlignRT® and other Vision RT technologies.

1

Herron E, et al. Surface guided radiation therapy as a replacement for patient marks in treatment of breast cancer. International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics 2018;102 (3):e492-e493.

2

Shah AP, et al. Clinical evaluation of interfractional variations for whole breast radiotherapy using 3-dimensional surface imaging. Pract Radiat Oncol 2013;3 (1):16-25.

3

Sueyoshi, et al Eliminating Daily Shifts, Tattoos, and Skin Marks: Streamlining Isocenter Localization With Treatment Plan Embedded Couch Values for External Beam Radiation Therapy PRO https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prro.2018.08.011