Smart. Simple. Complete. GE Healthcare’s Latest Innovations in Cancer Care on Display at ASTRO 2014

Multidisciplinary solutions to help integrate planning and improve quantitation and efficiency in radiation oncology

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA — September 15, 2014 — GE Healthcare, a division of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), is highlighting advanced imaging technologies and software capabilities at the 56th Annual American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Meeting in San Francisco, California. Advances showcased include offerings in Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance (MR), Positron Emission Tomography-CT (PET/CT), and PET/MR that help to address critical clinical and technology needs in radiation oncology.

“GE Healthcare’s legacy of innovation continues today in radiation oncology, and blends not only advanced technologies and solutions such as Metal Artifact Reduction, but also an understanding of the tools needed for the accurate and precise delivery of effective patient care,” said Paul Anderson, general manager of Oncology for GE Healthcare. “Our dedication to innovation drives our new offerings at ASTRO; they are smart, simple, and complete. They’re simple, smart because they support the clinical process and are complete implementations for radiation oncology.”

One focus of the GE Healthcare booth at ASTRO 2014 will be multidisciplinary collaboration and integration — enabled by remarkable technologies like GE Healthcare’s Smart Metal Artifact Reduction (MAR) and Deviceless 4D in CT, a new PET/MR system, MR-guided focused ultrasound, a complete MR Radiation Oncology Suite, and advanced quantitation capability in PET/CT.

CT — MAR & Deviceless 4D
GE Healthcare’s Smart Deviceless 4D technology delivers workflow efficiency and patient comfort in 4D motion assessment. Smart Deviceless 4D provides and displays CT images of all phases of a breathing cycle for the evaluation of respiration-induced motion of the chest, for use with therapy planning and simulation. This helps in the goal of simplifying the workflow so that facilities can effectively and efficiently generate CT anatomical images that are useful in the simulation and planning of radiation therapy for treatment of cancer.

“Deviceless 4D provides a fast process to acquire target motion information without the need for an external device,” said Pascal Fenoglietto, head of research and technical development for the Radiation Oncology department at ICM Val d’Aurelle, France. “It results in a workflow simplification for therapist and an easy way to define ITV for radiation oncologist during direct virtual simulation on the CT.”

Smart Deviceless 4D technology combines with Smart MAR on GE Healthcare’s latest CT Simulators to address two of treatment planning’s biggest challenges — the ability to outsmart metal and motion. When utilizing CT scans, clinicians are often challenged by image distortions caused by high-z metals in the body such as hip prosthesis, screws or dental fillings. Metals often generate streak-like artifacts in CT scans, making it difficult to clearly delineate between tumors and healthy tissue. Smart MAR addresses this challenge with an innovative three-stage projection-based method designed to address both causes of metal artifacts — photon starvation and beam hardening. This automated approach is designed to reveal anatomic details obscured by metal artifacts.

“With MAR, we have seen significant reduction in image artifacts from metals and also an improvement in HU accuracy,” said Fenoglietto. “I was particularly impressed with the results for dental fillings that are challenging due to the number of metal objects packed into a small area. This has really improved the speed at which our radiation oncologists and dosimetrists can complete their planning process.”

MR — SIGNA* PET/MR†; ExAblate; RadOnc Suite
The SIGNA PET/MR is the first integrated, simultaneous, time-of-flight (TOF) capable, whole body PET/MR system; it is now 510(k) pending at the FDA. Powered by simultaneous image acquisition from GE’s latest 3.0 Tesla MR technology and innovative PET technology, the SIGNA PET/MR represents a new chapter in potentially helping clinicians achieve improved scan efficiency, particularly for oncology, neurology and cardiology.

The SIGNA PET/MR features GE’s new, exclusive MR-compatible silicon photomultiplier detector (SiPM) technology. This new digital detector is characterized by its enhanced sensitivity; it is up to three times more sensitive than conventional PET technology. It also features fast coincidence timing resolution enabling TOF reconstruction. With TOF reconstruction, the arrival times of each coincident pair of photons are more precisely detected, and the time difference between them is used to localize the PET signal. The SIGNA PET/MR is designed to be fully upgradable from a Discovery* MR750w 3.0T.

InSightec, a world leader in MR-guided Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUS), is proud to be showcasing ExAblate MRgFUS as a therapy to treat pain from bone metastases in patients who do not respond or cannot undergo radiation treatment for their pain. GE Healthcare is a minority shareholder of InSightec Ltd. and is a distributor of ExAblate in many countries around the world. ExAblate combines therapeutic acoustic ultrasound waves with continuous guidance. This treatment option offers several strong advantages that make more Radiation Oncologists consider it as a new, solid and effective alternative solution for treating pain caused by bone metastases. One of the most appealing advantages is that it requires no stoppage of planned or ongoing chemotherapy and therefore provides leverage for patient management. It also allows for real-time feedback and patients enjoy pain alleviation within days.

GE Healthcare is also showcasing the MR Radiation Oncology Suite compatible with the Optima* MR450w 1.5T and Discovery MR750w 3.0T scanners. The MR Radiation Oncology Suite provides clinicians MR imaging solutions with the patient in the treatment position; it’s designed to pinpoint radiation therapy with the precision and visualization of magnetic resonance imaging. The comprehensive options include MR compatible positioning devices and flat insert coils that accommodate the positioning devices and protocols that have been optimized for high-resolution, thin slice imaging.

PET/CT — Q.Clear
Over the last decade, PET image reconstruction technology has been designed to provide better image quality, reduced acquisition time and lower injected dose. Current PET iterative reconstruction technologies, such as TOF and OSEM, force a compromise between image quality and quantitation. GE Healthcare’s new Q.Clear technology shows the advantage of full convergence PET imaging with no more compromise between quantitation and image quality. Q.Clear technology can provide up to two times improvement in both quantitative accuracy (SUV) and image quality (SNR) in PET/CT imaging. This is an innovative new tool for clinicians across the care continuum including diagnosis, staging, treatment planning, and treatment assessment.
Clinicians not only want the ability to detect smaller lesions, but the ability to determine earlier whether the patient is responding to current treatment. Q.Clear aims to help in both areas by providing better quantitation accuracy for truly personalized medicine. Coupled with GE Healthcare’s Q.Suite, which introduced the importance of eliminating variability such as respiratory motion, Q.Clear can enable clinicians to assess treatment response accurately so they can provide exceptional patient care.

SOURCE: GE Healthcare

*Trademark of the General Electric Company.
†SIGNA PET/MR is 510(k) pending at the FDA and not available for sale.