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European Radiotherapy Pioneers Deliver First Varian RapidArc(TM) Treatment for Rectal Carcinoma Patient
Date:12/15/2009

GHENT, Belgium, Dec. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ghent University Hospital in Belgium, among the first hospitals in the world to pioneer radiotherapy treatments using arc therapy, has carried out its first treatment using fast and efficient RapidArc radiotherapy technology from Varian Medical Systems ( VAR). A 56-year-old male rectal carcinoma patient was treated in just 75 seconds, over four times faster than possible using conventional fixed-beam treatments.

"This treatment would have taken more than five minutes using conventional intensity-modulated radiotherapy and such time-savings are very important both for the wellbeing of the patient and the efficiency of the hospital," said Professor Marc van Eijkeren, head of Ghent University Hospital's Department of Radiation Oncology. "We were able to achieve an increase in dose to the tumor while using far fewer monitor units of radiation to achieve this. Indeed, there was threefold reduction in monitor units used, which is helpful in tissue sparing and increasing patient comfort."

"We are a busy university hospital and we are under constant strain to deliver advanced IMRT treatments within our standard 15 minutes treatments slots," he added. "With RapidArc, that will no longer be a problem as we will be able to offer advanced conformal treatments to more patients while reducing our treatment slot times."

Professor van Eijkeren said the patient's treatment involved treating the rectum, pelvis and lymph nodes in a single arc - or revolution - of the Clinac® iX medical linear accelerator. All such rectal treatments will now be carried out using the RapidArc technique and the team at Ghent also plans to begin using RapidArc for other cancers in the pelvic region.

Physicist Leen Paelinck said Eclipse(TM) treatment planning software was quick and simple to use, reducing the planning time substantially. "The planning process involves contouring, optimization
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SOURCE Varian Medical Systems, Inc.
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