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Ghent University Hospital purchases RapidArc technology to speed cancer treatments

Varian : 15 September, 2008  (Application Story)
Ghent University Hospital in Belgium is acquiring RapidArc technology from Varian Medical Systems for fast and efficient modulated arc therapy treatments for an increasing number of cancer patients.
The hospital, which has developed its own intensity modulated arc therapy (IMAT) planning system, has carried out such treatments on prostate and gynaecological cancer patients for several years with impressive results in tumour control and reduced complications. There are now plans to extend such treatments to other sites.

'The problem is that using our own system, it takes half an hour to deliver treatments, even longer if we use image-guided radiotherapy,' said professor Marc van Eijkeren, head of Ghent University Hospital's Department of Radiation Oncology. 'Our normal Radiotherapy treatment slots are ten minutes so it means we take up three slots to deliver one arc therapy treatment, placing a big strain on our busy department.'

'As more and more patients are becoming eligible for these treatments and patient referrals for arc therapy increase, we knew we needed to find a solution that allowed our patients to have these advanced treatments without causing a backlog. We are convinced that RapidArc is the only commercial system available at the moment that can deliver these treatments in such a short time.'

Professor van Eijkeren said his hospital's long history with advanced techniques such as IMAT and intensity modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) comes from its goal of gaining greater tumour control and fewer side effects. Ghent University Hospital serves more than 1.5 million people in the northern regions of Belgium. The Clinac iX equipped with Varian's RapidArc technology is due to be installed at the hospital in October and RapidArc treatments are planned to commence in spring 2009.

'Partnering with Ghent University Hospital gives us a fantastic opportunity to offer our commercially available RapidArc technology to a hospital that is unique in its long experience in volumetric intensity modulated arc treatments,' said Vincent Ronfle, Varian's regional sales manager. 'This collaboration will be very helpful in understanding the present and future applications of this technology to achieve improved clinical outcomes for patients.'

RapidArc delivers a volumetric intensity-modulated radiation therapy treatment in a single or multiple arcs of the treatment machine around the patient and makes it possible to deliver advanced image-guided IMRT two to eight times faster than is possible with conventional IMRT. Unrelated clinical studies on Radiotherapy correlate the ability to spare more healthy tissue with reduced complications and better outcomes.
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