January 10, 2008 - Varian Medical Systems has received FDA 510(k) clearances for its RapidArc radiotherapy technology, technology that is designed to deliver image-guided, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) reportedly two to eight times faster and more precisely than is possible with conventional IMRT or helical tomotherapy.
RapidArc, Varian's new technology for delivering volumetric modulated arc therapy, quickly delivers a complete IMRT treatment in a single rotation of the treatment machine around the patient. The two FDA clearances for RapidArc cover the treatment hardware and the RapidArc treatment planning software module in Varian's Eclipse treatment planning system. Varian will begin taking orders for RapidArc immediately, and will begin delivering it to customers in the spring of 2008.
Clinicians can use RapidArc for better prostate and head and neck treatments, and still offer fixed beam IMRT treatments with motion management for lung and breast tumors and electron treatments for patients with lymphomas and skin cancers.
Plan studies comparing fixed-beam and helical IMRT with RapidArc show that RapidArc can reduce the amount of non-therapeutic radiation reaching healthy tissues during treatment. For example, in the case of head and neck cancer treatments, RapidArc plans are better at protecting critical structures like the spinal cord, brain stem, eyes, optic nerve and chiasm, parotid (salivary) glands, and brain.
Moreover, with RapidArc's highly efficient use of the primary beam, secondary stray radiation caused by scatter and leakage are reduced by over 50 percent on average compared with fixed field IMRT.
For more information:www.varian.com