November 30, 2022

Advancing the treatment for cancer patients in central Missouri, MU Health Care’s Ellis Fischel Cancer Center is now using the Ethos™ therapy system from Varian, a Siemens Healthineers company.

Ethos therapy is an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven holistic solution designed to increase the capability, flexibility and efficiency of radiotherapy. This new solution is designed to deliver an entire adaptive treatment efficiently, within a timeslot that is comparable to standard treatment. Unlike traditional methods, adaptive therapy provides the ability to modify the treatment plan based on tumor and anatomical changes. The goal is to better target the tumor, reduce dose to healthy tissue, and improve overall outcomes.

"We are proud to offer Ethos therapy treatment,” said Gerhard Hildebrandt, MD, director of Ellis Fischel Cancer Center and chief of hematology/oncology. “Our clinical staff was impressed by the capabilities and the ability to deliver this advanced treatment in a timely manner. Ethos therapy will enable our physicians to better visualize the changes in a patient’s anatomy and quickly adapt the therapy accordingly.”

“Every cancer patient deserves access to personalized, precise care,” said Kevin O’Reilly, President of Radiation Oncology Solutions at Varian. “Expanding access to adaptive radiotherapy represents an important step toward achieving this and delivering on our mission of a world without fear of cancer. Powered by AI, Ethos allows doctors and clinicians to adapt and personalize doses to every patient, every day in a typical treatment timeslot. We are excited Ellis Fischel Cancer Center has chosen Ethos therapy.”

Informed by AI, Ethos therapy facilitates dose delivery to the target as planned, helps to spare organs at risk, and enables more customized margins to potentially reduce toxicity. The installation of Ethos at Ellis Fischel is one of the reasons Bo Lu, MD, decided to come to MU Health Care as chair of the inaugural Department of Radiation Oncology.

“Ethos uses seamless imaging and individualized planning for every radiation treatment, delivering treatments designed to be more effective and less toxic,” said Lu. “It’s critical to ensure precision for each radiotherapy because cancer patients are now frequently treated with higher daily doses. In addition, cancer patients routinely receive other cancer therapy such as immunotherapy at the same time, exposing them to higher risks for treatment-related side effects. At Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, we strive to maintain the well-being and quality of life for cancer patients undergoing treatment.”   

“By being able to view the patient's anatomy on a daily basis, Ethos therapy allows us to be more confident in the dose that is being delivered, and be more flexible in day-to-day treatment decisions,” said Gregory Biedermann, MD, director of radiation oncology imaging. “This technology allows us to be more accurate with our dose and more precise with our delivery.”