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Doctors in the US and Netherlands Using Fast RapidArc Radiotherapy Technology to Help Fight Cancer are Now Treating Tumors of the Head and Neck
Date:9/16/2008

RapidArc to deliver an unusual unilateral neck tumor treatment that avoided the opposite half of the 68-year-old patient's oral cavity, salivary glands, and neck.

The treatment involved immobilizing the patient for each of his daily treatments using an awkward mouth piece that immobilized the tongue. "A conventional treatment would have taken 15 minutes a day at least -- a long time to be immobilized in that way. With RapidArc, we had him in and out of there in less than five," Yampolsky said.

"Compared with conventional forms of IMRT, RapidArc also helped us achieve better sparing of the healthy side of the patient's neck," said Yampolsky. "This was important to preserve his salivary function and as much of his oral cavity as possible."

On the other side of the country, a gentleman with advanced throat cancer was able to keep his voice, thanks to RapidArc treatments. This 82-year-old patient had been enjoying an active lifestyle with his wife of 40 years, when a lingering hoarseness led to the discovery of larynx cancer. "One treatment option was for him to have a laryngectomy, which would have removed his voice box, leaving him with no ability to speak and requiring him to breathe through a tracheostomy, which is a hole in the throat," said Shawn H. Zimberg, MD, medical director of radiation oncology at Advanced Radiation Centers of New York. "Another option was a 'larynx preservation' course of radiotherapy." Using RapidArc technology, Zimberg and his team were able to deliver a non-invasive radiotherapy treatment very quickly, and preserve this patient's larynx and voice.

"Prior to his treatment, we compared two radiotherapy plans. One was for conventional IMRT and the other for a RapidArc treatment," Zimberg added. "It was clear that the RapidArc plan was going to spare more of his normal tissues from radiation, reducing the likelihood of undesirable side effects. Clearly, being able to preserve his larynx while limiting the toxicity
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SOURCE Varian Medical Systems, Inc.
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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