New cancer fighting tool is now available in the Houston area

Doctors at the Northwoods Cancer Center near Houston, Texas are now treating cancer patients using new RapidArc radiotherapy technology from Varian Medical Systems . Jack Laxton, 84, a retired machinist fighting prostate cancer, is among the first patients in Houston to benefit from the speed and accuracy of RapidArc, which delivers image-guided intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) two to eight times faster than is possible with earlier radiotherapy technologies

Doctors at the Northwoods Cancer Center near Houston, Texas are now treating cancer patients using new RapidArc radiotherapy technology from Varian Medical Systems . Jack Laxton, 84, a retired machinist fighting prostate cancer, is among the first patients in Houston to benefit from the speed and accuracy of RapidArc, which delivers image-guided intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) two to eight times faster than is possible with earlier radiotherapy technologies.

 Laxton, who receives a RapidArc treatment each weekday at Northwoods Cancer Center in Shenandoah, a Houston suburb said, my treatments go very quickly. I'm mid-way through my nine weeks of treatment and I'm grateful to say that I haven't experienced any serious side effects. In fact, during the actual treatment, I usually don't feel anything at all.

Christopher Phan, MD said, Mr. Laxton's treatments take only 80 seconds to complete once he has been positioned on the treatment couch, and treatments for our other RapidArc patients are going just as fast. This makes things much easier and more comfortable for patients.

In addition to increased convenience for patients and the potential for enhanced accuracy, the speed of a RapidArc treatment may have other potential benefits. Laboratory studies of the effect of radiation on cancer cells have suggested that faster treatments lead to a higher cancer cell kill rate.