Orfit North America, the US subsidiary of Belgian family-owned manufacturer of low temperature thermoplastics, hardware and accessories for patient immobilisation and positioning devices in radiation oncology Orfit, has launched a new mask for patients to wear during radiation therapy.
The mask has been designed to optimise patient comfort during radiation therapy of the head and neck areas, while enabling the same and, in many cases, better reproducibility and higher-precision treatment than standard head and neck masks.
The company made its announcement as part of its participation at the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) Annual Meeting in Indianapolis which is taking place on Aug 4-8, 2013.
In a November 2012 abstract in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics, a team from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, reported preliminary data showing that the open face mask leads to better immobilisation of the cranium and lower jaw than a conventional mask typically used in radiation oncology treatment. Based on approximately 160 registrations of pre- and post-treatment kV imaging, the researchers concluded that an open face mask provided robust immobilisation and could be safely considered for use in radiation therapy for claustrophobic patients and potentially for all head and neck cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy.
The Open Face Hybrid Mask leaves most of the face uncovered, thereby reducing the often significant discomfort and high anxiety experienced by claustrophobic and most patients undergoing head and neck Radiation Therapy. Reinforced with Orfit's proprietary thermoplastic materials, the new mask is also thinner and lighter than standard masks, while ensuring maximum horizontal and rotational stability. Like all thermoplastic materials made by Orfit, it is easy to mold and use, providing excellent reproducibility. The open face mask is compatible with real-time patient tracking systems, which monitor intra-fraction patient movement, helping to ensure correct patient set up and accuracy of treatment.
"The Orfit Open Face Hybrid Mask is a transformational product for patients and providers in the radiation oncology clinical setting," said Martin J Ratner, Orfit Industries America Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "We listened closely to our customers, including many of the leading cancer centers in North America in applying our technology in thermoplastics to develop a product that for the first time enables two of the principal goals in radiation therapy – effective immobilisation and increased patient comfort."
In addition to collaborating closely with its customers, Orfit drew on its more than 20 years of R&D experience in optimising radiation treatment to create the Open Face Hybrid Mask. The company is currently developing a similar mask for paediatric use.