News | April 20, 2009

RapidArc Used with Novalis Tx System Treats Head and Neck Cancer Patient

April 21, 2009 - A 51-year old female cancer patient from Switzerland has become the first patient outside the U.S. to be treated with RapidArc radiotherapy technology from Varian Medical Systems on a Novalis Tx platform for radiosurgery and radiotherapy.

Doctors at Inselspital, the Bern University Hospital, used the Novalis Tx platform from Varian and BrainLAB to treat a patient suffering simultaneous skin cancer of the nose and an aggressive nasopharyngeal cancer with image-guided IMRT (intensity modulated radiotherapy). The treatment was “very satisfactory” and compared favorably with conventional treatment techniques, according to professor Daniel M. Aebersold, chairman of radiation oncology, who said the patient is responding well to the treatment.

Rather than targeting tumors with radiation beams from fixed angles, the Novalis Tx unit with RapidArc capability rotates continuously around the patient performing radiotherapy or radiosurgery several times faster than is possible with conventional techniques, according to Varian.

"Our first case was particularly challenging due to the fact that two distinct tumor regions were to be treated using different dose prescriptions," said Aebersold. "The treatment was very quick and we were very impressed by the excellent conformity and good sparing of organs at risk compared to standard IMRT."

"By delivering advanced RapidArc treatments on a gold standard platform such as a Novalis Tx, we were able to combine speed with extremely high precision, to minimize the possibility of movement during treatment, which is particularly important bearing in mind the larger doses we are using."

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