Pioneering Cancer Center in India Will Expand Its RapidArc® Radiotherapy Program





A hospital that is using RapidArc radiotherapy to treat cancers of the head & neck and cervix is announcing it will be expanding its use for treatment of other cancers. Yashoda Cancer Institute in Hyderabad has found it can deliver image-guided, intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) faster and more precisely using the RapidArc technology from Varian Medical Systems.

"We were very excited to become the first hospital in India to introduce RapidArc treatments earlier this year and the results so far give us great satisfaction," says Dheeraj Gorukanti, chief executive officer of Yashoda Hospitals Group. "We believe it has the potential to be better than conventional IMRT treatments for many cases of cancer and going forward our clinical team intends to use RapidArc on a majority of patients."

"RapidArc provides highly conformal dose distributions which can be delivered very quickly," said Dr. G Surender Rao, executive director at Yashoda Cancer Institute, which has now delivered more than 100 treatments with the new technology. "The majority of patients we have treated with RapidArc to date have been head & neck and cervical cancer patients. Cervical cancer is the number one indication for women in India but treating it with standard radiotherapy or brachytherapy is sometimes time-consuming. RapidArc gives highly conformal dose distributions which can be delivered in a very short space of time, enhancing patient comfort and offering a high quality treatment."

RapidArc delivers a precise and efficient treatment in single or multiple arcs of the treatment machine around the patient and makes it possible to deliver image-guided intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) two to eight times faster than is possible with conventional IMRT. Faster treatments allow for greater precision, since there is less chance of patient or tumor movement during treatment delivery and, with less time on the treatment couch, also allow for greater patient comfort. Conventional IMRT treatments are slower and more difficult for radiotherapy radiographers because they target tumors using a complex sequence of fixed beams from multiple angles.

The private Yashoda Cancer Institute treats 9,000 patients per annum and serves a patient population of 70 million people in Hyderabad and the entire state of Andhra Pradesh, as well as the neighboring states of Karnataka, Maharastra and Orissa. "Rising cancer rates in India make it vital that the country's cancer centers utilize the most advanced radiotherapy tools to combat the disease," says Dheeraj Gorukanti.

"Cancer rates have increased many fold in the last few decades because of increased and earlier detection methods, increased life expectancy resulting from successful treatment of infectious diseases and advances and medicine, and an increase in unhealthy lifestyles," says Mr. Gorukanti. "In India we need treatment capabilities as anywhere in the world to fight this disease."

Rolf Staehelin, Varian's marketing director in Europe and India, says, "Yashoda was the first hospital in India to introduce both conventional IMRT and RapidArc and to treat 100 patients with RapidArc in such as short space of time is a great achievement."

Yashoda played host to the country's first international RapidArc Symposium in early October when more than 200 people attended a hands-on RapidArc course and symposium at the hospital. Clinicians from Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the U.S. presented their experiences in delivering advanced RapidArc volumetric modulated arc therapy treatments.

Editorial contact: Neil Madle, Varian Medical Systems, +44 7786 526068

About Varian Medical Systems

Varian Medical Systems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California, is the world's leading manufacturer of medical devices and software for treating cancer and other medical conditions with radiotherapy, radiosurgery, proton therapy, and brachytherapy. The company supplies informatics software for managing comprehensive cancer clinics, radiotherapy centers and medical oncology practices. Varian is a premier supplier of tubes and digital detectors for X-ray imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications and also supplies X-ray imaging products for cargo screening and industrial inspection. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 5,100 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America, China, and Europe and in its 79 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit http://www.varian.com/