Royal Marsden Hospital completes world's first VMAT radiotherapy
18 February 2008
The Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton, UK, successfully
completed the first volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT)* radiation
treatment for cancer in the world using a commercial product. The hospital
used its existing Elekta Synergy system and Elekta's next generation linear
accelerator control system.
VMAT simultaneously controls the position and
speed of the linear accelerator gantry, the multileaf collimator and
radiation dose rate. The flexibility and variability of VMAT provides highly
conformal radiation dose distribution to each target tissue site, sparing
surrounding healthy tissue more effectively than other treatment methods to
reduce the possibility of negative side effects.
VMAT treatments also take
significantly less time than other radiation therapy techniques, making the
treatment more comfortable for the patient and further increasing the
likelihood of precise dose delivery.
Jim Warrington, head of Radiotherapy
Physics at The Royal Marsden Hospital, reports on the first VMAT patient,
who was treated for lung cancer: "The patient received a single 340°
arc of six megavoltage x-rays, with simultaneously variable dose-rate and
dynamic multileaf collimator modulation. The treatment arc delivered a 2
Gray fraction to the target in 93 seconds, approximately half the time it
would have taken normally."
"Given the potential for non-coplanar
deliveries," says Warrington, "VMAT will be a significantly improved
treatment modality for The Royal Marsden Hospital's radiotherapy patients."
The Royal Marsden Hospital treats about 4,000 new radiotherapy patients each
year at its Sutton site, and 2,500 at its Chelsea site.
and flexibility of this technique is impressive," adds Warrington, "and we
hope to be able to expand the use of this cutting-edge technology to become
a routine treatment method in the future."
Volumetric Intensity Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT) is pending regulatory
approvals in certain markets, including 510(k) clearance in the US, and is
not yet available for commercial sale in the US.