January 12, 2015 — Elekta's Versa HD system is making its clinical debut or preparing to treat patients at three Australian centers. On Oct. 1, 2014, Macarthur Cancer Therapy Centre at Campbelltown Hospital (Campbelltown, NSW) became the first clinic in Australia to treat patients on one of its two Versa HD systems. On Nov. 10, Adelaide Radiotherapy Centre followed suit with its first Versa HD patient treatments. Nelune Comprehensive Cancer Centre at Prince of Wales Hospital (Randwick, NSW) is making preparations to begin treating patients on its Versa HD system. Versa HD is Elekta's latest-generation linear accelerator, equipped with advanced beam-shaping and high dose rate technologies.
Macarthur Cancer Therapy Centre
In the summer of 2014, the Macarthur Cancer Centre at Campbelltown Hospital replaced its two aging Siemens linear accelerators with Versa HD systems. The clinic previously had no cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) or volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) capabilities.
"With Versa HD, all of our prostate cases now get daily CBCT scans, enabling us to characterize the tumor and its position during treatment much more accurately than we could before," says Dion Forstner, M.D., director of radiation oncology. "Also, our previous systems allowed only simpler beam shaping. With the Agility multileaf collimator on Versa HD, beam shaping is far superior and much faster. Treatment time is substantially less using Versa HD, particularly for IMRT [image-modulated radiation therapy] cases. For example, on a head-and-neck IMRT case, we save about 10 minutes, so we can treat at least three patients in an hour, whereas before we were struggling to treat two patients in that time."
With improved imaging capabilities and High Dose Rate mode using flattening filter-free (FFF) technology, unique to Versa HD, Macarthur Cancer Therapy Centre clinicians are ramping up a stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) program.
"We will be using Versa HD for SBRT of lung, liver and especially prostate cases, and we've treated our first SBRT case, a patient with lung cancer," Forstner notes. "Implementing SBRT also will now allow us to participate in multicenter SBRT trials."
He adds that with both Versa HD systems up and running, the cancer center will be able to increase its capacity by at least 30 percent or 12 additional patients per day. This is critical in a region expected to experience a 48 percent growth in those aged over 65 between 2012 and 2021.
Adelaide Radiotherapy Centre (ARC)
The new Versa HD system at ARC's St. Andrew's Hospital location will enable clinicians to commission several advanced radiotherapy techniques for a range of cancer conditions, according to ARC radiation oncologist Marcus Dreosti, M.D.
"Versa HD really changes how we can treat cancer in so many ways," he says. "It will expand the range of cancers that can be successfully managed with radiation and shorten treatment times, which reduces the impact on patients' quality of life. We are able to be so precise in targeting tumors that in certain clinical applications we can deliver higher doses in fewer treatments and achieve better outcomes with fewer complications."
Nelune Comprehensive Cancer Centre
Prince of Wales Hospital's Nelune Comprehensive Cancer Centre recently replaced two Siemens linear accelerators with an Elekta Infinity system and a Versa HD system, which join an Elekta Axesse system the center purchased in 2009. Elekta Infinity is now clinically operational, and Versa HD will be commissioned in 2015.
"With Versa HD, we're looking forward to shorter treatment times, particularly for simpler treatments, such as prostate cases, and better dose distributions for conventional IMRT cases and for VMAT once we start using that technique," says Michael Jackson, MD, radiation oncology center director.
Versa HD will be a welcome addition to Nelune's intra- and extra-cranial SBRT program, he adds.
"We will use the system mainly for cancers in the brain, lung, liver, pancreas and spine, in which the ultra-conformal beam shaping capabilities of Versa HD are especially important."
For more information: www.versahd.com