Calypso® 4D Localization System

Aurora St Luke's Medical Center started Wisconsin's first Calypso tracking system, which is essentially a "GPS" type of therapy for treating prostate cancer. Small tracking devices, the size of a small seed, are implanted into your prostate by a urologist. These devices are actually "transponders" that can be tracked in real time while you’re receiving radiation treatment for prostate cancer. Because the prostate can move in the pelvis, this system allows for highly accurate monitoring of the prostate, any small shifts and corrections in targeting, and treatment delivery.

What is the Calypso 4D Localization Tracking System?

Calypso® 4D Localization Tracking System is a very high tech system that monitors the movement of the prostate gland during external beam radiation therapy.

Historically, radiation oncologists have required a margin of healthy tissue around the prostate gland to account for internal prostate movement due to intestinal, bladder and rectal movements. With the placement of these beacon transponders (the seeds) your prostate can be tracked and treated with tight margins, and the total radiation dose can be increased because of increased patient safety.

The Calypso® 4D Localization Tracking System requires three beacon electromagnetic transponders permanently placed in the prostate gland. These transponders measure approximately 8mm,are not radioactive and do not emit ionizing radiation to the patient.

These beacons send information to the 4D Tracking System that continuously monitors your prostate location and its movement. If your prostate moves beyond a given range, radiation delivery is then paused, realignment is performed, and treatment resumed when the prostate location is back in range.

Realtime Navigation to the Prostate

Patient selection: while discussing your individual treatment options, the radiation oncologist will determine if select patient criteria are met for Calypso® eligibility.

Beacon® electromagnetic transponder implantation: after being selected as a Calypso® candidate, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with an urologist who will implant three permanent electromagnetic transponders into your prostate gland. You’ll go home the same day after implantation. These electromagnetic transponders will be used each day for real-time tracking to ensure highly accurate treatment to the prostate.

Planning session to determine treatment volume: after the transponders are implanted, a planning session (simulation) is required to define precise location of the prostate and surrounding tissues in a three-dimensional manner. A CT scan is part of the simulation, small skin markers may be placed during this procedure, and a radiation oncologist contours the target and organs after simulation.

Radiation therapy: you’ll be positioned on the treatment table in the same position as the planning session. A monitoring device will be placed over your pelvic area to allow tracking from the beacons. Adjustments will be made immediately as needed to assure near-perfect targeting and the Calypso system will track during the short treatment.