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News

Presbyterian Cancer Center begins treating oncology patients with VMAT system

Elekta : 16 September, 2008  (Application Story)
Presbyterian Cancer Center - Dallas, a joint venture between Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas and Texas Oncology, PA, has installed an Elekta Infinity system to enable the facility to begin treating patients with Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT).
Elekta Infinity is the facility's first image guided linear accelerator, and will allow the Center to offer patients shortened treatment times with the highest degree of precision.

'We are excited to be able to provide patients with the benefits afforded by the image guidance and VMAT technology of Elekta Infinity,' said Kyle Antes, MS, director and chief physicist for Presbyterian Cancer Center. 'On average, we treat about 65 patients a day, and we anticipate this system will result in increased time savings, highly conformal treatment and a better overall experience for our patients.'

VMAT with Elekta Infinity varies the radiation beam during treatment by simultaneously manipulating the gantry position and speed, MLC leaves, dose rate and collimator angle for precise beam shaping without interrupting treatment delivery. As a result, Elekta VMAT delivers more radiation to the target while sparing healthy tissue, in significantly less time. Faster treatment times improve patient comfort, which makes it easier for the patient to remain still during treatment and increases the likelihood of delivering radiation more accurately and safely.

By implementing Elekta VMAT, Antes also anticipates reducing treatment times by half for head and neck patients. What were formerly 30-minute time slots are now only 15 minutes, making it easier for the Center to schedule patients. Patients also experience the benefits of no longer having to lie still, while wearing a tight mask for 30 minutes.

To visualise the prostate, the Presbyterian Cancer Center had previously used gold seeds with MV portal imaging, explains Antes. 'Not only did this take longer, we were also faced with the issue of increasing the total dose to the prostate with every MV image. The kilovoltage imaging system integrated on Elekta Infinity imager will alleviate these issues.'

The Center intends to hypo-fractionate their prostate treatments with the aid of the image guidance of Elekta VMAT. The system will significantly shorten the number of treatment days for prostate patients, and give the Presbyterian Cancer Center a competitive edge over other centers in the area.

'One thing we're especially grateful for is that Elekta continues to allow all vendor systems to work with their linear accelerator technology,' says Antes. 'While researching which system to purchase, we found other manufacturers' linacs would have required us to change both our treatment planning system and our record and verify system in order to use their IMRT arc delivery. This wasn't something we were prepared to do.'

'We are thrilled to offer our patients VMAT treatment with Elekta Infinity,' said Antes. 'Incorporating it with our Elekta Precise linear accelerator, MOSAIQ Electronic Medical record and our Leksell Gamma Knife, we're able to provide patients with the best technology for treatment in the region.'
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