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Dutch clinicians decide to adopt Varian's RapidArc radiotherapy treatment

Varian : 15 October, 2008  (Application Story)
Doctors in the Netherlands have used Varian Medical Systems’ RapidArc technology to treat four early stage lung cancer patients in what is believed to be among the world's first treatments of their kind.
Clinicians at VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam now plan to replace conventional stereotactic Radiotherapy treatments with RapidArc for all such patients.

A 57-year-old male, diagnosed with a 1.2cm diameter non-small cell lung tumour in the right upper lobe and deemed unfit for surgery as a result of severe emphysema, was the first patient to receive the pioneering Radiotherapy treatment at the hospital in early September 2008.

'We normally use ultra-precise stereotactic Radiotherapy in these cases and we have now treated more than 400 such patients in this way,' said Dr Ben Slotman, chairman of the hospital's department of radiation oncology. 'But RapidArc offers some real time-savings over stereotactic Radiotherapy and its use in this case is a real breakthrough for us and our patients.'

The pioneering treatment was delivered in less than 15 minutes versus the 30 to 45 minutes normally needed by the team at VU University Medical Center to treat lungs with image-guided intensity-modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT). The treatment was delivered using six arcs - or rotations - of the treatment machine around the patient. RapidArc delivers a volumetric Radiotherapy treatment in a single or multiple arcs of the treatment machine around the patient.

'We were very pleased with how the treatment went,' added Dr Suresh Senan, professor of clinical experimental radiotherapy. 'The online patient setup using cone beam CT scans allowed direct visualization of the tumor just prior to fast treatment delivery using RapidArc, all of which greatly increased the confidence of the treatment team in the precision of delivery. The high dose radiation area was restricted to the tumor and the surrounding healthy tissue and critical organs received very low doses.'

'Due to the high precision and the speed of treatment delivery, and the associated increase in patient comfort, RapidArc will eventually replace all 'conventional' stereotactic treatments for early stage lung cancer at our hospital.'
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