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Seattle's Swedish Cancer Institute First in U.S. to Treat Cancer Patient with Elekta VMAT

SEATTLE and ATLANTA, July 30 /PRNewswire/ -- A patient with pancreatic cancer recently became the first person in the United States to receive treatment using Elekta VMAT (Volumetric intensity Modulated Arc Therapy) at Seattle's Swedish Cancer Institute. This revolutionary new technology dramatically decreases treatment times -- delivering a higher dose to the tumor target without compromising coverage and patient safety.

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From the patient's perspective, faster treatment times often mean improved comfort, which makes it easier to remain still during treatment and increases the likelihood of delivering radiation beams more accurately and safely. From the physician's perspective, the reduction in treatment time makes it much easier to accurately target the tumor and the improved dose sparing offers new options to either increase the cancer-killing dose to a tumor or reduce side effects and therefore potentially improve outcomes.

David Shepard, director of Medical Physics at Swedish Cancer Institute, says, "The use of Elekta VMAT allowed us to reduce our patient's delivery time by half, relative to a conventional IMRT delivery. The total treatment time was less than 10 minutes, including Cone Beam CT image guidance. More importantly, we were able to reduce the dose to surrounding sensitive structures such as the spinal cord, left and right kidneys and the liver."

Shepard is presenting his work on VMAT at the Elekta VMAT Consortium meeting during the 2008 American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) annual meeting along with other U.S. and international hospitals who have either started or plan to start a VMAT clinical program.

Vivek Mehta, M.D., director of the Center for Advanced Targeted Radiation Therapies at the Swedish Cancer Institute, emphasizes, "VMAT technology will enable us to design treatment approaches that are more aggressive in killing cancer cells and have fewer side effects."

Dr. Mehta says the implementation of Elekta VMAT at Swedish Cancer Institute has advanced the program's overall mission. "By introducing VMAT technology today, we have continued to build on the Swedish Cancer Institute's rich tradition of innovation in cancer care. We were among the first to begin using Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) utilizing cone Beam CT technology to improve setup accuracy and treatment precision, and now we've begun treating with VMAT. As the largest and most comprehensive cancer treatment program in the Pacific Northwest, improving patient care is our mission and we work daily to make that a reality."

About Elekta VMAT

The speed and precision of Elekta VMAT is made possible by the simultaneous manipulation of the gantry position and speed, the multileaf collimator leaves, the dose rate and the collimator angle, all while the radiation beam is on. In addition, Elekta VMAT allows the flexibility of one arc, two arcs, sub-arc or a combination.

To ensure the accuracy of this highly conformal treatment, Elekta VMAT uses daily ultra low dose 3D volumetric imaging via Elekta VolumeView(TM). VolumeView imaging is accomplished in under two minutes, complementing the speed of treatments. For additional information, visit .

About Elekta

Elekta is an international medical technology group, providing oncologists, radiation therapists, neurosurgeons and many other medical specialists with state-of-the-art tools to fight serious disease.

Elekta provides advanced clinical solutions, comprehensive management and information systems, as well as services for improved cancer care and management of brain disorders.

Elekta's systems and solutions are used in over 5,000 hospitals around the world. Clinical and information management solutions include, among others, Leksell Gamma Knife(R) for non-invasive treatment of brain disorders, Elekta Axesse(TM) and Elekta Synergy(R) for stereotactic and image guided radiation therapy and radiosurgery, and the MOSAIQ(R) suite of software for image enabled EMR and efficient management of clinical and patient data.

With around 2,500 employees globally, the corporate headquarters are located in Stockholm, Sweden and the company is listed on the Nordic Exchange under the ticker EKTAb. More information about Elekta can be found at .

About the Swedish Cancer Institute

The Swedish Cancer Institute (SCI) opened in 1932 as the first dedicated cancer-care center west of the Mississippi. Now in its 75th year, it is the largest and most comprehensive cancer treatment program in the Pacific Northwest. A true multidisciplinary program, SCI offers a wide range of advanced cancer-treatment options in chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery -- backed by extensive diagnostic capabilities, patient education and support-group services. SCI's clinical-research arm encompasses industry-sponsored and cooperative group therapeutic trials, cancer screening and prevention trials, and investigator-initiated trials. Breast-cancer screening and diagnostics are available through the Swedish Breast Care Centers and mobile mammography units. For more information, visit .

About the Center for Advanced Targeted Radiation Therapies

The Swedish Cancer Institute's Center for Advanced Targeted Radiation Therapies encompasses the comprehensive and complimentary array of advanced and emerging radiation delivery tools available to patients for both approved therapies and clinical research efforts. They include a variety of technologies, including Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT), linear accelerator-based stereotactic radio surgery, Calypso(R) 4D Localization System, Xoft Axxent(TM) Electronic Brachytherapy System, MammoSite(R) Radiation Therapy System, the Seattle CyberKnife Center(TM) at Swedish Medical Center, and Northwest Hospital Gamma Knife Center. SCI is also working toward adding the latest generation of proton beam radiotherapy systems to this arsenal of cancer-fighting tools by December 2010.

SOURCE Elekta, Inc.
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