RapidArc First Time Used For Soft Tissue Carcinoma Treatment

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2008-07-23 10:57

MIMA Cancer Center becomes the firstirst in world to treat soft tissue carcinoma with stereotactic body radiotherapy using RapidArc Radiotherapy Technology from Varian. Novel image-guided treatment is completed in just five minutes a day for five days.

Doctors at Melbourne Internal Medical Associates (MIMA) Cancer Center have become the first in Florida to treat cancer using RapidArc™ radiotherapy technology from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR). They are also the first in the world to use this technology to deliver stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) in the treatment of soft tissue carcinoma.

A 72-year-old man with Merkel cell carcinoma was treated for a soft tissue tumor in his thigh, which had developed close to where a similar tumor had been treated with conventional radiotherapy six months earlier.

"In this case, it was important that we avoid exposing the previously-treated area to any additional radiation," said Todd Scarbrough, M.D., radiation oncologist and director of the MIMA Cancer Center. "Using RapidArc, we completed each of his treatment sessions in just five minutes, including imaging and treatment. In the past, using conventional IMRT, this type of treatment would have required 30 minutes per session to complete."

RapidArc makes it possible to quickly deliver an advanced image-guided, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) treatment with one 360 degree rotation of the treatment machine around the patient. In this case, however, Scarbrough and his team designed a treatment that was delivered with just half a rotation around the patient.

"The tumor was near the surface of his thigh, so a full arc would have exposed too much of his normal leg to the treatment beam," Scarbrough said.

Scarbrough's team planned the RapidArc treatment using Varian's Eclipse™ treatment planning software, which allowed them to visualize how the dose would be distributed within the patient's leg. "The RapidArc plan gave us a dose distribution that was superior to what we could have achieved with traditional IMRT," Scarbrough said. "Eclipse made it easy to create a plan that would avoid the previously-irradiated tissues. We just superimposed the dose distribution from his earlier treatments onto the new CT scans, created a structure out of that area, and instructed the software to avoid it as if it were a critical organ. It was very easy to do."

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