News - 13 February 2021

EWHA Womans University Seoul Hospital first in Korea to go tattoo and mark-free

EWHA Womans University Seoul Hospital first in Korea to go tattoo and mark-free

The EWHA Womans University Seoul Hospital has become the first in Korea, and third in Asia to go tattoo and mark-free for their radiation therapy treatments, thanks to their adoption of AlignRT, Vision RT’s Surface Guided Radiation Therapy (SGRT) technology.

“AlignRT technology has increased our treatment accuracy, as it tracks the skins surface in real-time and increases the precision of treatment to up to 0.1mm,” said Kim Kyung Su, Head of the Department of Radiation Oncology. “AlignRT has enabled us to increase patient safety and comfort, as we no longer have to tattoo and mark our patients, as we had to using traditional radiation therapy, to set patients up for daily treatment.”

The EWHA department of radiation oncology started using AlignRT in January of 2021 to treat breast patients. The department has since expanded their use of AlignRT to enable them to offer tattoo and mark-free radiation therapy, joining a growing number of radiation oncology centres around the world that have embraced tattoo and mark-free treatments

Prior to SGRT technology, drawing marks or permanently marking patients was the only option clinics had to ensure treatment was delivered to a precise location.  For some patients’, tattoos are a painful experience and become a lifelong reminder of their cancer treatment.

From April 2021, the department plans to expand further using Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH), a technique to move a patient’s heart further away from the radiation beam during treatment for left breast cancer. The proximity of the left breast to the heart leaves the heart vulnerable to radiation exposure. This has been shown, in some cases, to lead to serious long-term cardiac complications[1].

SGRT, pioneered by Vision RT, uses proprietary 3D stereo camera units to monitor a patient’s skin surface in real-time and compare it to the ideal position with sub-millimetric accuracy. This ensures that radiation is delivered only when a patient is correctly positioned, enhancing safety and comfort. AlignRT is non-invasive and completely non-contact, an increasingly important advantage for cancer patients, who often have weakened immune systems.

With 1014 beds, EWHA Womans University Seoul Hospital is a patient-centered organization that aims to continue to advance and lead new healing experiences in Korea.

[1]Darby et al. Risk of Ischemic Heart Disease in Women after Radiotherapy for Breast Cancer. N Engl J Med 2013; 368:987-998

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