Calypso Radiation Therapy
During radiation treatment, which lasts 10 to 15 minutes, breathing and the natural motion of your intestinal tract cause your internal organs to move. This affects how much radiation a tumor and its surrounding tissue receive.
The Calypso system, also known as GPS for the Body®, allows your doctor to track the exact location of your tumor during radiation, so therapy is more precise. This not only ensures the tumor gets the prescribed dose of radiation, it limits exposure to surrounding tissue. Radiation of nearby tissue is what causes side effects, so Calypso’s greater precision can minimize them.
How the Calypso System Works
Your doctor inserts three tiny devices that look like beads (each the size of a grain of rice) into the tumor using a thin needle. The beads are implanted during an office visit before your radiation therapy appointment. The procedure takes about 15 minutes and is done using a local anesthetic.
During radiation therapy, the beads act like beacons that send radiofrequency signals to the radiation machine, and:
- This allows your doctor to track the tumor’s position in real time during treatment. As your tumor moves, your doctor adjusts the radiation beam to target the tumor.
- If you cough, sneeze or an internal change moves the tumor out of the radiation beam, the system automatically turns off the radiation beam.
The Calypso system can be used to treat soft-tissue tumors throughout the body, including prostate, pancreatic, liver, lung, breast and gynecologic cancers. Talk to your doctor to find out if this treatment is right for you.
Calypso Radiation Therapy was made possible by donations made to the El Camino Health Foundation.