PLANO, Texas, May 27 Earlier this week, VerityRadiation Therapy, at The Texas Clinic at Prestonwood, became the secondmedical center in the United States to commence treating cancer patients withRapidArc(TM) radiotherapy technology from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR)earlier this week. RapidArc is an advanced form of image-guided,intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) that can be delivered two toeight times faster than is possible with conventional IMRT or helicaltomotherapy.
"We delivered our first RapidArc treatment yesterday, to a patient withprostate cancer who was about two weeks into an eight and a half week courseof traditional IMRT treatments," said Dr. Ed Gilbert, radiation oncologist."Before, his treatments were taking about 10 minutes each day to complete.Yesterday, using the RapidArc approach, we completed the entire process inabout 6 minutes. That included positioning the patient, taking images,adjusting his position, and delivering the treatment. Actual treatmentdelivery was completed in less than 90 seconds, compared to five and a halfminutes with the conventional approach."
RapidArc treatments, created with Varian's Eclipse(TM) treatment planningsystem and proprietary RapidArc software, are faster because they use a Varianlinear accelerator to deliver a complete volumetric IMRT treatment with asingle rotation of the treatment machine around the patient. ConventionalIMRT required the machine to make intermittent stops and starts during atreatment, as the machine was moved to deliver the beam from several differentbeam angles. Varian treatment planning analyses have shown that RapidArc plandose distributions are comparable to those possible with conventional IMRTplanning, and RapidArc plans are delivered with the same precision.
"IMRT was already a tremendous gain in curving around normal structures,such as the rectum in prostate cancer treatment, thereby allowing for higherdoses given to the prostate," Dr. Gilbert pointed out. "The ability todeliver these treatments so much faster is a real win for us and for ourpatients. Faster treatments are not only more comfortable for the patient,but they have the potential to spare more healthy tissue during the course oftreatment since there is less likelihood that the patient will move during thetreatment, or that some normal physiological process, such as gas movingthrough the digestive system, will displace the tumor."
"In addition to shortening the patient's treatment time, with RapidArc weare able to reduce the amount of radiation generated by the machine," addedRandi Aaronson, PhD, medical physicist. "While the dose to the target doesnot change, the dose to the rest of the body from scatter and leakageradiation is reduced compared to conventional IMRT."
"With the addition of RapidArc, the Varian linear accelerator at The TexasClinic can now be used for an even broader spectrum of advanced clinicalcapabilities, which already include fixed-beam IMRT, stereotactic treatments,and electron treatments for tumors near the body's surface," added MattMcNeeley, director of marketing and business development. "It is part of ourongoing commitment to offering our patients the most appropriate form oftreatment available, based on each patient's unique clinical situation."
About The Texas Clinic at Prestonwood (TTCAP)
The Texas Clinic at Prestonwood offers patients an advancedmulti-specialty destination for complete wellness, providing an assortment ofmedical treatments and services. Set on 4.17 acres, TTCAP features some ofthe most advanced medical technology in North Texas, including the firstSiemens 128-slice, dual source CT in the region; North Texas' first VarianTrilogy(R) linear accelerator, with on-board CT x-ray imaging and RapidArc;one of the few Siemens 3-Tesla MRI units outside a hospital in the area, aHologic Digital Mammography unit