TrueBeam® Linear Accelerator

The TrueBeam® system is an advanced medical linear accelerator—or radiotherapy and radiosurgery treatment system—capable of fast and precise image-guided radiotherapy.  

This technology from Varian Medical Systems was engineered to deliver high doses with tremendous accuracy, narrowly targeting tumors and minimizing exposure of the surrounding healthy tissues and organs.  

Varian’s TrueBeam system can be used to deliver many forms of radiotherapy treatment, including: image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT), intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) i.e., RapidArc® radiotherapy, stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), and stereotactic body radiotherapy (SRBT). These different treatment modalities provide clinicians with the versatility to tailor each patient’s radiotherapy treatments with remarkable precision, using the most appropriate approach for each individual case.

With Varian’s TrueBeam system, treatments can be performed with ease, precision and speed. This technology makes it possible to deliver fast, accurate image-guided treatments within just a few minutes per day.

The TrueBeam system can deliver treatments with pinpoint accuracy. The system automatically synchronizes imaging, beam shaping and dose delivery, performing internal accuracy checks every ten milliseconds throughout the entire treatment. 

Before and during treatment, the TrueBeam imager can generate high-quality 3-D images of the tumor and surrounding anatomy; this can be done 60% faster than was possible with previous generations of Varian imaging technology. Images used to fine-tune a patient’s position prior to and during the treatment process now can be generated using 25% less X-ray dose.

TrueBeam Innovations

TrueBeam offers many other innovations, including:

  • Imaging tools that can verify not only the patient’s position, but also tumor motion during a treatment, enabling accurate tumor targeting. 
  • Fast, automated treatment delivery management software that significantly shortens the duration of sophisticated treatments that involve different beam angles.  
  • RapidArc® radiotherapy technology, which delivers a precise image-guided, intensity-modulated treatment in as little as two minutes a day. RapidArc and Gated RapidArc make it possible to use this treatment approach for tumors of the kidney, liver, lung and breast, even when tumor motion is an issue.

TrueBeam is also designed with patient comfort and ease in mind. Throughout the treatment, the therapist can monitor the patient via closed circuit television, and patient and therapist can communicate via two-way audio. To create a more soothing environment and put patients at ease, music can be played during the treatment.

Why Does Speed Matter?

Better Accuracy. The less time a patient needs to hold still, the more accurate the treatment is likely to be, and the more comfortable the patient will be during treatment.

Less Intrusion. The less time the patient spends in treatment, the sooner they get back to their regular lives. When a patient needs to come in for treatment five days a week for several weeks in a row, this can be significant.

The Technology

TrueBeam is an advanced medical linear accelerator that uses photon or electron beams to target cancerous tumors precisely and accurately. It has built in imaging capabilities to pinpoint the location of a tumor prior to and during treatment, guiding the system to deliver treatment accurately. 

TrueBeam employs a device called a multileaf collimator (MLC), a device with 120 computer-controlled mechanical “leaves” or “fingers” that shift as the machine rotates around the patient to change the shape of the beam to match the shape of the tumor. This helps maximize dose to the tumor and minimize dose to nearby healthy tissue. 

The Benefits of Treatment on a Varian TrueBeam Machine 

  • Non-invasive. TrueBeam treatments require no surgery, no incisions, and no post-surgical healing.
  • Speed. TrueBeam is fast. Some treatments that once took 10 to 30 minutes can now be completed in less than two minutes. That’s better for patient comfort, and better for accurate targeting.
  • Enhanced, low-dose imaging. TrueBeam imaging technology can produce the three-dimensional images used to enhance tumor targeting in 60% less time and 25% less dose than previous Varian imaging technology. These images are used to fine-tune a patient’s position prior to and during the treatment process.
  • Accuracy. The TrueBeam system treats tumors with pinpoint precision, thanks to precision mechanics, enhanced onboard imaging, motion compensation technologies and a sophisticated architecture that synchronizes all elements of its operation.
  • Motion compensation. For lung and other tumors subject to respiratory motion, TrueBeam offers respiratory gating and Gated RapidArc, which make it possible to monitor the patient’s breathing and compensate for movement of the tumor during treatment by activating the beam only when the tumor is in the optimal position for treatment.
  • Flexibility. TrueBeam easily interfaces with a wide variety of complementary technologies — developed by Varian and by other manufacturers — that can improve disease-specific treatments. This significantly widens the range of disease that can be effectively treated using TrueBeam.
  • Innovation. TrueBeam Developer Mode enables leading academic centers to try new regimens in a non-clinical mode to improve treatments. Developer Mode discoveries serve as an incubator of new functionality that can be further developed and eventually incorporated into TrueBeam software updates so that any TrueBeam customer can benefit. It’s an evolutionary tool that keeps getting better at treating cancer.