Staffordshire hospital modernises radiotherapy department with
Varian RapidArc linear accelerator
26 November 2008
Cancer patients will receive faster, more advanced cancer treatments
as part of a major project to modernize the University Hospital
radiotherapy department serving North Staffordshire in central England,
while relocating it from the Royal Infirmary to City General Hospital.
The government-backed project entitled ‘Fit for the Future’ calls for
the installation of four new linear accelerators from Varian Medical
Systems, three of which have the capability of delivering
state-of-the-art RapidArc radiotherapy treatments.
When treatments start in 2009, the Centre will have the ability to
deliver fast and precise treatments with Varian RapidArc technology in
combination with online 3D image guidance. RapidArc, introduced by
Varian earlier this year, enables highly precise treatments to be
delivered in less than two minutes.
Dr Andy Moloney, head of radiotherapy physics and director of
oncology, said, “We are delighted that this long-awaited project is
finally going ahead and we selected Varian as a partner because they are
technologically ahead of the game.
“We do a lot of intensity-modulated radiotherapy treatments already
and lack of speed can sometimes be a limiting factor for delivering such
conformal treatments, so we believe our patients will benefit from the
additional speed and efficiency of RapidArc,” adds Dr. Moloney.
Under an order placed in August, Varian will supply its Clinac iX
accelerators equipped with on-board imager devices and RapidArc
capability as well as a GammaMed high dose rate brachytherapy
afterloader, Acuity iX cone beam simulator and a suite of Eclipse
treatment planning and ARIA oncology information software for combined
management of chemotherapy and radiotherapy patients. The new machines
are due to be installed at the beginning of March 2009.
RapidArc is a faster way of delivering advanced image-guided
intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) that concentrates radiation dose
on tumours while sparing more of the surrounding healthy tissue. It is
up to eight times faster than conventional IMRT. Treatment planning
analyses show that RapidArc matches or exceeds the precision of
conventional IMRT systems for diseases including prostate and head and
neck cancer. Other radiotherapy studies correlate the ability to spare
more healthy tissue with reduced complications and better outcomes.
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