May 28, 2008 - Earlier this week, Verity Radiation Therapy, at The Texas Clinic at Prestonwood, became the second medical center in the U.S. to commence treating cancer patients with RapidArc radiotherapy technology from Varian Medical Systems.
RapidArc is an advanced form of image-guided, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) that can be delivered two to eight times faster than is possible with conventional IMRT or helical tomotherapy.
“We delivered our first RapidArc treatment yesterday, to a patient with prostate cancer who was about two weeks into an eight and a half week course of traditional IMRT treatments,” said Ed Gilbert, M.D., radiation oncologist. “Before, his treatments were taking about 10 minutes each day to complete. Yesterday, using the RapidArc approach, we completed the entire process in about six minutes. That included positioning the patient, taking images, adjusting his position, and delivering the treatment. Actual treatment delivery was completed in less than 90 seconds, compared to five and a half minutes with the conventional approach.”
RapidArc treatments, created with Varian's Eclipse treatment planning system and proprietary RapidArc software, are reportedly faster because they use a Varian linear accelerator to deliver a complete volumetric IMRT treatment with a single rotation of the treatment machine around the patient. Conventional IMRT required the machine to make intermittent stops and starts during a treatment, as the machine was moved to deliver the beam from several different beam angles. Varian treatment planning analyses have shown that RapidArc plan dose distributions are comparable to those possible with conventional IMRT planning, and RapidArc plans are delivered with the same precision.