CONTACT: TOM MOORE
Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications
8788 John Pappajohn Pavilion
Iowa City IA 52242
Release: April 3, 2001
UI uses ultrasound technology in complex surgeries
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Radiation oncology specialists with University of Iowa
Health Care recently performed the world's first ultrasound-guided extracranial
Typically, computed tomography (CT) images are used to target tumors that
are treated with radiation. The 3D images are transferred from the CT scanner
to the radiosurgery device using reference marks on the patient. The patient
is either moved from the CT scanner to the radiosurgery device, or the radiosurgery
therapy may occur on a subsequent day. During the time between the CT scan
and the actual treatment session, the patient will almost certainly be in
a different position or the tumor itself may move as the internal anatomy
shifts as a result of breathing and moving.
Using the ultrasound technology in the treatment room provides cancer specialists
revised, up-to-date information about the precise location of the tumor inside
"The treatment plan from CT images guides the direction and the focus
of the radiation beams and is meticulously outlined on the CT image in the
hours or days before the radiosurgery procedure," said John Buatti, M.D.,
professor and director of radiation oncology in the UI Department of Radiology.
"We can more accurately transfer the treatment plan into the treatment
delivery room by using the ultrasound image to match the CT images used for
Even though the tumor may shift only slightly, perhaps five to 10 millimeters,
the precision and accuracy of the state-of-the-art radiosurgery technology
is enhanced by the addition of the ultrasound information. The extremely precise
Linac scalpel directs radiation to within .2 millimeters for targets in the
brain, and the ultrasound-guided technology should provide real-time targeting
so that radiosurgery can be applied to lesions elsewhere in the body.
"This is an outstanding example of an innovative enhancement that combines
the use of highly advanced imaging technology with the most advanced radiosurgery
technology," said John Haller, Ph.D., adjunct assistant professor in
the UI Department of Radiology. "We've been able to make radiosurgery
available for lesions outside of the brain."
The Food and Drug Administration has approved this prototype ultrasound-guided
radiosurgery system, which is being developed jointly by scientists and clinicians
at the UI, including radiation oncologists, radiologists, otolaryngologists,
and by neurosurgeons, physicians and scientists at the University of Florida
and Zmed, Inc., based in San Diego, Calif.
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between
the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient
care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit
UI Health Care online at www.uihealthcare.com.