When buying a used or refurbished linear accelerator, how important are the HV hours, also known as “beam hours?”
Beam hours for linear accelerator are like the mileage on a car. They reflect the amount of time that beam has been on, and therefore are a good indication of the “wear and tear” on a particular machine.
Generally speaking, machines with higher beam hours will sell for less than those with lower beam hours, all other things being equal. Of course, there are dozens of other variables that influence the price of a linear accelerator, like the age, technologies and upgrades.
Adding or updating your facility’s linear accelerator (linac) is a decision with budgetary, space, and personnel impacts. In the following paragraphs, we hope to help you in your buying decision by explaining when it is better to seek a new linac and not a used model.
Antes de comprar un acelerador lineal de segunda mano, es importante identificar los tipos de tratamientos que ofrecerá a sus pacientes, tanto a corto como a largo plazo. Este gráfico le permite ver qué requisitos de hardware son generalmente necesarios para cada una de las diversas opciones de tratamiento. Hay excepciones a estos parámetros (por ejemplo, algunas instalaciones están haciendo SRS sin tasas de dosis más altas).
Before you purchase a pre-owned linear accelerator system, it is important to identify the types of treatments you will be offering to your patients, both in the short term and in the long term. This chart allows you to see what hardware requirements are generally necessary for each of the various treatment options. There are exceptions to these parameters (for example, some facilities are doing SRS without higher dose rates).
Linear accelerators have two different components that allow for images of the patient to be made while the patient is on the linear accelerator:
1. MV Imaging Devices. These devices, also referred to as EPIDs (Electronic Portal Imaging Devices), produce an image of the patient by the use of the mega voltage (MV) beam of radiation that the linear accelerator emits to treat the tumor(s).
2. KV Imaging Devices. These devices produce clearer, x-ray images of the patient through the use of an x-ray tube that is mounted onto the linear accelerator.
Linear accelerators have become increasingly more sophisticated over the last two decades. The advent of IMRT (intensity modulated radiation therapy), as well as CBCT (cone beam CT) and VMAT (volumetric arc therapy) means that more data is generated from the linear accelerator than ever before.
In order to keep all of the patient data organized, a Record and Verify System (R&V) should be used. An R&V system is simply a computer server and related software that organizes and stores all of the data that is fed into, or captured from, the linear accelerator and the related patient being treated.