Faster treatment times means greater patient comfort and improved accuracy.
Treatment with RapidArc is much faster than with earlier IMRT systems. The RapidArc radiation-delivering arm rotates 360 degrees around the patient, and a full treatment can be completed in less than two minutes - much faster than the 10 to 15 minutes required by previous generations of IMRT equipment. In addition to providing improved patient comfort, this faster treatment time increases the accuracy of the targeted radiation, further minimizing the chance of adversely affecting healthy tissue.
A custom treatment plan for each patient.
Before the patient's first treatment, a team including a radiation physicist and dosemetrist creates an individual treatment plan using the patient's X-rays and CT scans. The team pinpoints the location of the tumor, identifies organs to avoid and determines exactly how the radiation will be emitted at every angle. Then before each subsequent treatment session, the team captures new scans with a CT unit built into the RapidArc system. A powerful computer processes the information from these scans and the necessary positioning adjustments are made to ensure that the tumor is in the exact center of the treatment field.
Effective treatment for a wide range of cancers.
Initially, RapidArc is being used to treat prostate cancer and tumors in the head and neck, where protecting delicate structures are a major concern. Using RapidArc to treat tumors in the lung and other locations is in the planning stages, and there is also potential for using the system for stereotactic radiosurgery, an advanced technique that enables doctors to eradicate tumors in patients who, for a variety of reasons, may not be candidates for conventional surgical procedures.