What is Halcyon?

The Halcyon radiotherapy system is the newest cancer-treatment device that offers 3-D, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT)

Halcyon is designed to elevate patient care while simplifying and shortening virtually every aspect of the treatment process, delivering treatments in a fraction of the time it takes with conventional machines.

Halcyon allows for high-quality treatment plans appropriate for a variety of cancers, including those of the brain, head and neck, prostate, lungs, and breasts.

Halcyon is patient-friendly

Some of its advantages:

How does radiotherapy work?

An effective treatment for cancer, radiotherapy has been used successfully for many years.
It works by limiting the ability of cancer cells to grow and spread, disrupting the DNA of these fast-growing cancer cells and preventing them from replicating. If cancer cells can’t reproduce, they die, and the tumours shrink.

The radiation is generated by a machine called a medical linear accelerator. This machine generates high-energy X-ray beams of varying intensities, which can be conformed to the three-dimensional shape of a tumour. This allows the maximum dose to be delivered to the tumour while minimizing the exposure to surrounding healthy tissue.

Does radiotherapy expose people to radioactive substances?

When they hear the word “radiation,” many people think immediately of radioactive substances. However, no radioactive substances are involved in the creation of the beam by a medical linear accelerator. When a linear accelerator is switched on, radiation is produced in the form of high-energy X-rays, or photons, and aimed directly at cancer cells. Then, like a flashlight, when the system is switched off, the photon beam disappears.

Does a person become radioactive after treatment?

External radiation therapy does not cause anyone’s body to become radioactive. There is no need to avoid being with other people because of treatment. Even hugging, kissing or having sexual relations with others pose no risk to them of radiation exposure.

What is unique about treatment using Varian’s Halcyon technology?

High quality of care – Halcyon delivers treatments in a fraction of the time it takes with traditional machines, without compromising quality. Its dual-layer MLC has been optimized for modulated treatments, giving it the ability to target tumours with pinpoint accuracy while minimizing the exposure of surrounding healthy tissue.

Operational efficiency – Halcyon’s streamlined and efficient processes allow treatments to be completed in just nine steps. A one-step setup provides fast, safe patient positioning, and standardized workflows allow therapists to focus on patients rather than the machine.

Human-centred design – Halcyon was built to deliver advanced treatments in an environment that’s more patient-friendly than ever. During a radiotherapy treatment with Halcyon, the imaging and treatment-delivery components are enclosed, so the patient doesn’t see anything rotating around them. A spacious opening, ambient lighting, and relaxing music help keep patients comfortable during treatment. And Halcyon features an integrated camera and intercom that allow for constant audio and visual contact. Treatments can be completed in around 10 minutes, so patients can get back to their lives with minimal disruption.

The leader – Varian, the manufacturer of Halcyon, has been a pioneer in the field of oncology for over 70 years. Varian was the first in the world to offer a linear accelerator for radiation therapy. Now Halcyon, its latest innovation, has redefined the industry’s standards and is transforming the way the world thinks about treating cancer.

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