A leading Danish cancer hospital has treated its first patient using RapidArc radiotherapy after installing eight advanced radiotherapy treatment machines from Varian Medical Systems of Palo Alto, California. Herlev Hospital, to the north-west of Copenhagen, delivered the fast and efficient RapidArc treatment to a prostate cancer patient using a Clinac iX linear accelerator.
The treatment comes just two years after the hospital selected Varian to replace its entire treatment machine and software infrastructure because the equipment was unable to carry out advanced image-guided treatments. "We are delighted with the rapidity of implementation," says Poul Geertsen, head of radiotherapy at Herlev Hospital. "The transition from our previous equipment to an overall Varian solution has been smooth and has enabled us to be among the first hospitals in Europe to offer RapidArc treatments."
"All our treatment personnel were pleased with the speed and ease of the first treatment and the patient responded well," adds Brian Holch Kristensen, chief physicist. "We now have RapidArc capability on six of our eight linear accelerators and we hope to soon routinely carry out more prostate treatments before expanding our RapidArc program to include other pelvic and head & neck treatments."
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 IMRT times 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.
"Without any previous experience with RapidArc we successfully treated the first patient within two weeks of the RapidArc installation," adds David Sjostrom, deputy chief physicist. "In order to routinely replace today's standard IMRT treatments with RapidArc for all treatment sites, we now need to strengthen our collaboration with Varian and other RapidArc users. In the future, we are hoping RapidArc will prove to be the best choice of treatment both in terms of delivery time and quality."
Herlev Hospital carries out 48,000 radiation treatments per annum, treating 3,000 new patients each year. All eight Varian accelerators at Herlev, ordered in May 2007, are equipped with the On-Board Imager® device for modern, real-time image guidance, which is integral to RapidArc treatments. IGRT enables clinicians to pinpoint the position of the tumor at the time of treatment, allowing more precise treatments and potentially fewer side effects.
"Clinicians at Herlev wanted us to enable them to offer patients advanced image-guided treatments when Varian machines and software were selected to replace their previous equipment two years ago and I am very pleased that we have been able to meet their expectations of us," adds Sten Hornsleth, Varian's Scandinavian country manager. "Herlev Hospital is now offering radiotherapy treatments that are among the most advanced in the world, which is good news for cancer patients in Denmark."
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/