February 10, 2011 – Cancer patients in Bangladesh, a country of 160 million people served by just 11 modern radiotherapy linear accelerators, now have access to advanced radiotherapy technology from Varian Medical Systems. Treatments using RapidArc technology with respiratory gating have started on a new Clinac iX medical linear accelerator at the new United Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Care Centre in the capital, Dhaka.
"As well as offering great precision and excellent dose distribution, RapidArc enables us to deliver the dose more quickly," said Ayan Basu, M.D., head of radiation oncology at United Hospital, which is Bangledesh's first comprehensive cancer center. "This is a country with long waiting lists for treatment, so RapidArc will help us to treat many patients with advanced radiotherapy techniques. We are delighted to be the first hospital in the country to provide RapidArc for the benefit of our patients."
Doctors at United Hospital have begun delivering therapy on prostate and head/neck cancer patients. The system delivers precise image-guided intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) up to four times faster than conventional IMRT. The beam quickly delivers the dose while continuously rotating around the patient. Studies show that faster treatments allow for greater precision, since there is less chance of patient or tumor movement during treatment delivery.
Basu said the system is being used initially to treat cancers such as prostate, cervical and anal canal. It will also be used for stereotactic body radiotherapy treatments, which involve the use of very high-dose beams to quickly attack certain types of tumors in areas like the lung, liver or spine.
The RapidArc-equipped Clinac device, ordered in June and installed in December, is the first treatment machine at the new facility. Two additional radiotherapy rooms have been constructed to allow for future expansion. United Hospital has acquired the first PET-CT and cyclotron in Bangladesh and also offers treatments using a Varian GammaMed HDR (high dose rate) brachytherapy afterloader.
United Hospital is a private, 450-bed multi-disciplinary hospital designated as a referral hospital by the Bangladesh government.
"We are honored to be associated with this wonderful new facility serving the people of Bangladesh," said Rolf Staehelin, Varian's international marketing director. "There are huge challenges facing cancer treatment in Bangladesh, with many patients traveling to Singapore and India for treatment, and we hope RapidArc at United will play its part in starting to address the country's extensive cancer burden."
For more information:www.varian.com