What is the Trilogy?
The Trilogy is the world’s most advanced device to treat tumors and other abnormalities in any part of the body. It provides a noninvasive alternative to surgery and can often treat tumors that are inoperable. Cancer treatment with the Trilogy is painless, has minimal side effects and is an outpatient procedure, so you may return to your normal activities quickly.
How it works
The Trilogy is a type of stereotactic radiation system. This means it painlessly shrinks or eliminates tumors and abnormalities, using focused beams of radiation. Trilogy enables doctors to deliver higher doses of radiation more precisely and in fewer treatment sessions than ever before possible. The procedure does not involve making any incisions, allowing you to resume normal activities shortly after treatment.
Diagnostic images taken before treatment, including CT, PET and MRI help determine where to aim the radiation. The beams are shaped to match the shape of the tumor and are delivered from many different angles around the body. The beams all meet precisely at the target location. Ultrahigh precision destroys tumors with high doses of radiation, while sparing the surrounding healthy tissue.
In some cases, only one treatment session is needed, though some cases may require a few treatment sessions. The actual delivery of the radiation beams is brief; however, preparation time may take a few hours. Most patients may go home immediately after the procedure.
The treatment process
The patient meets with the physician leading the treatment team. The physician reviews the patient’s medical history and reports, makes a recommendation about any further tests that may be required, discusses the options with the patient and works with the patient to develop the course of treatment.
In order to achieve the precision of a stereotactic treatment, it’s important that the patient be accurately positioned and carefully immobilized during treatment. The patient is fitted with an immobilization device to ensure that he or she remains in the same position without moving during the procedure.
The patient is positioned on the CT couch so a scan can be performed, generating images of the area to be treated. This scan, along with any other CT, PET, MRI and X-ray images the patient may have had, provides information required to create a treatment plan and correct positioning.
Treatment planning and delivery
With the information gathered during the positioning and imaging steps, a medical team uses a sophisticated software program to generate a customized treatment plan. This planning team may include experts from different disciplines, such as radiation oncology, neurosurgery and medical physics.
Treatments usually take about an hour. In some cases the treatment time can be longer. Most of the time is used to ensure accurate positioning. Patients may see laser lights that help with positioning. The robotic arms of the imager will extend from the linear accelerator and move into position. Usually, two or more images are taken from different angles, or a complete rotation of the accelerator may be used to generate a three-dimensional image. The therapist uses these images to guide adjustment of the treatment couch.
Patients are alone in the room during the treatment, but the therapist can see and hear the patient at all times through intercom and closed-circuit television systems. The therapist controls the accelerator, imagers and treatment table from a control room.
The linear accelerator emits a buzz as it produces the radiation beams. Although its effect on tumors is quite dramatic, the radiation itself is invisible. Patients do not feel anything, just as they do not feel X-rays or CT scans. The accelerator moves around the patient to deliver beams from different angles. Sometimes the couch moves as well. This is all normal and part of the treatment process.
After the treatment is completed, the doctor monitors the patient’s progress with a series of follow-up visits. Blood tests, diagnostic X-rays and additional CT and MRI scans may be requested at these appointments. It is important to talk with your doctor about nutrition, exercise, medications and other ways to help maintain a healthy lifestyle.