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Prostate Cancer Patients Benefit from New Zealand Center's Adoption of Elekta VMAT Radiotherapy Technique
Date:8/2/2010

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Aug. 2 /PRNewswire/ – In the expansive region of Australasia—which includes Australia, New Zealand and neighboring islands—Auckland Radiation Oncology Centre (ARO) is the first to use Elekta VMAT, treating a patient with prostate cancer using a single 100-second arc of radiation. Such rapid treatments change the entire therapy experience for these patients, who have had to remain completely still for seven minutes during radiation delivery for each of 37 to 39 separate treatment sessions or "fractions."

"When treating prostates, any internal organ motion or patient movement during the fraction is a problem," says John Simpson, Ph.D. chief physicist at ARO, New Zealand's first private radiation oncology center. "Some internal motion is inevitable, and patients are treated with a semi-full bladder at the start of treatment to push the colon upward and away from the radiation field to minimize its exposure. Prolonging treatment duration, therefore, both increases the probability of internal organ motion as well as external movement due to patient discomfort, both of which can hinder treatment accuracy. Adopting a technique that reduces treatment delivery time is an obvious benefit for these patients."

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