Orfit Industries will be present at the ASTRO Annual Meeting in the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center known to be the world’s most important meeting for the radiation oncology community, with more than 11,000 people attending each year. Orfit Industries invites customers, medical specialists and professionals to come to the Orfit booth (no. 2033) and try on the new generation of nano-based masks.
Compared to Efficast masks used for head and neck immobilization, immobilization masks made from nano-enhanced thermoplastic sheets provide the patient with more comfort through a lower degree of shrinkage and therefore reduced pressure on the face during radiation therapy. The issue of mask tightness is a common one as medication received during the radiation treatment phase may result in an increase in the volume of the patient.
In its efforts to provide a higher degree of patient comfort, Orfit Industries developed a nano-based thermoplastic material that results in thinner masks with less shrinkage. Orfit engineers have interwoven a natural material (nano clay) in the inner layers of the thermoplastic material, which resulted in a substantial improvement of its mechanical properties.
Thermoplastics will shrink when they cool on the patient during the mask making process and therefore have an impact on comfort, in particular when the volume of the patient tends to increase in the course of treatment. In this context, the reduction of shrinkage by means of NANOR is an important step forward as it provides the degree of comfort required to minimize patient movement during the delivery of the dose.
In a number of laboratory tests the Orfit research team compared two low melting temperature thermoplastic materials, known under their commercial names “NANOR” and “Efficast,” both developed and manufactured by Orfit Industries. The results show an important reduction of fixation force for NANOR making patient immobilization easier and contributing to patient comfort and ultimately effectiveness of radiation therapy.
The Orfit tests revealed yet another important benefit: nano-reinforced thermoplastics have a higher so called bending modulus, i.e. the force for bending or deforming the material.
The bending modulus of NANOR sheets is about two times higher than the bending modulus of Efficast sheets. Using NANOR allows for a reduction of the thickness of the immobilization masks to 1.2 and 1.6 mm instead of 2.0 and 3.2 mm of Efficast, for identical mechanical properties of the immobilization mask. This in turn increases the patient’s comfort as the material conforms better to the anatomy.
The stability and reproducibility of patient setup in radiation oncology is extremely important for precise cancer treatment. Targeting the tumor and preventing damage of surrounding healthy tissue requires patient positioning and immobilization that provides accuracy up to one millimeter or even less.
The company has received FDA clearance for its use of NANOR thermoplastic technology as of 2014.