News | Radiation Oncology | June 30, 2015

Indian Hospital Treats 10,000th Patient with Varian's RapidArc

Southeast India facility reaches milestone in just six years, taking many pro bono cases

Varian, RapidArc, Yashoda Hospital, Hyderabad, India, 10,000th patient

June 30, 2015 - A three-year-old baby girl with a brain tumor has become the 10,000th patient at Yashoda Hospital in Hyderabad, India to be treated using RapidArc radiotherapy technology from Varian Medical Systems.

The treatment comes just six years after RapidArc was first introduced clinically at the private hospital, which treats more than 4,000 patients a year from the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in the south-east of India. "The patient responded well to the treatment," said G. S. Rao, M.D., director of the Yashoda group of hospitals.

Yashoda was the first hospital in India to introduce RapidArc treatments, and over the past six years it has phased out the use of 'static-field' intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) treatments and replaced them with RapidArc. In so doing, it has become the first hospital to reach the landmark of 10,000 RapidArc treatments.

Varian's RapidArc technology delivers fast and precise radiotherapy treatments in single or multiple rotations of the treatment machine around the patient. Faster treatments allow for greater precision, since there is less chance of patient or tumor movement during treatment delivery, and the patient spends less time on the treatment couch.

Over half the RapidArc treatments carried out at Yashoda over the past six years have involved tumors of the brain, head and neck. Three Varian linear accelerators at the hospital are equipped with RapidArc technology, which was introduced by Varian to speed up treatments and make advanced IMRT approaches more widely available to cancer patients globally.

"We see RapidArc as a very efficient and precise way of delivering advanced radiotherapy," said Rao. "Because of the speed of RapidArc treatments, we no longer have a waiting list. In fact, we usually start treatments within two days of the patients being taken for CT [computed tomography] simulation."

Although Yashoda is a private cancer center, it has a strong history of delivering treatments 'pro bono' for those who cannot afford advanced radiotherapy. About of a fifth of the center's RapidArc treatments have fallen into this category. Indeed, for several years it has sent a bus into local villages several times a month and brought patients back to Hyderabad for treatment. The bus, equipped with a wide range of diagnostic equipment, travels to remote villages throughout the province of Andhra Pradesh and screens patients for cancer. If people need treatment, they are brought back to the hospital and treated without charge.

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