Ventura, CA (PRWEB) March 31, 2010
Cabrillo Radiation Oncology Center in Ventura, CA, has commenced treating cancer patients with RapidArc™ radiotherapy technology, a fast, precise form of treatment using advanced technology from Varian Medical Systems. The new RapidArc™ treatment is two to eight times faster than conventional forms of radiotherapy.
Dr. Thomas Fogel and Dr. Jeff Rodnick treated two patients using the center's new technology for the first time last week. The patients were treated for prostate cancer. One of the patients, Willard Zoeber, found the treatment to be "very smooth". He said, "I am more comfortable and spend much less time on the table."
"RapidArc makes it possible for us deliver highly-precise intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) treatments quickly," said Dr. Fogel. "These treatments target tumors accurately while sparing the surrounding healthy tissues. Because they're fast, RapidArc treatments are also easier on the patient. It's hard for people to hold still for long periods of time. By delivering doses more quickly, we can simultaneously improve the quality of care and make our patients more comfortable."
Cabrillo Radiation Oncology Center's RapidArc™ radiotherapy treatment is delivered with just a single rotation of the treatment machine around the patient. During that rotation, the treatment beam is continually shaped and reshaped according to the size, shape, and position of the tumor within the body.
The beam shaping is accomplished using a beam-shaping device called a multi-leaf collimator (MLC). This device has 120 computer-controlled mechanical "leaves" or "fingers" that move to create apertures of different shapes and sizes. During a RapidArc™ treatment, specialized software algorithms vary three parameters simultaneously: the speed of rotation around the patient, the shape of the MLC aperture, and the dose delivery rate.
"We're very pleased to be able to offer patients this exciting new treatment option," said Dr. Rodnick. "RapidArc technology is enabling us to target cancer very accurately while sparing healthy tissue."
The American Cancer Society estimates that, in the State of California, there are 140,000 new cancer patients diagnosed every year.