June 17, 2008 - Decatur Memorial Hospital is the first medical center in Illinois and the third in the U.S. to treat a cancer patient using RapidArc radiotherapy technology, delivering advanced image-guided, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) treatments two to eight times faster than is possible with conventional IMRT or helical tomotherapy.
John Hosler, an 85-year-old prostate cancer patient, received his treatment in under 90 seconds. The treatment would have taken 15-20 minutes using earlier treatment methods. The treatments are delivered with one 360 degree rotation of the treatment machine around the patient.
RapidArc treatments are created using Varian's Eclipse treatment planning software and delivered using either a Clinac or Trilogy linear accelerator, a machine that rotates around the patient to deliver the treatment beam from virtually any angle. A device with a computer-controlled aperture is used to shape the treatment beam so that it matches the shape and size of the tumor. Proprietary RapidArc software varies the speed of rotation around the patient, the dimensions of the beam-shaping aperture, and the rate of dose delivery in order to target the tumor and avoids the surrounding healthy tissues.
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