Australian Clinic Puts Prostate Cancer Radiation Therapy on Fast Track With Elekta VMAT and Integrity Digital Control System
SYDNEY, March 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — In a single bound, Nepean Cancer Care Centre (NCCC) leaped from traditional 3D conformal radiation therapy for its prostate cancer cases to a dramatically faster therapy delivery method, Elekta VMAT (Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy), a technique that is even quicker with Elekta’s new Integrity(TM) R1.1 sixth generation digital control system. NCCC physicians treated their first patient with prostate cancer using Integrity on December 13, 2011, and have recently begun using VMAT to treat disease sites in the head-and-neck.
“We are very happy with the speed and accuracy of treatment delivery for this first patient, who has received 33 of 39 treatments,” reports Kevin Van Tilburg, NCCC’s Chief Radiation Therapist. “We are now planning to use Elekta VMAT to treat all of our radical [curative] prostate cases that employ implanted gold markers.”
Elekta VMAT is a sophisticated radiotherapy technique that delivers treatment in one or more uninterrupted high-speed arcs around the patient, allowing the radiation dose to precisely conform to a tumor by adjusting the radiation beam’s intensity. NCCC’s new Integrity R1.1 digital control system supports Continuously Variable Dose Rate (CVDR), which allows the dose rate to be adjusted to its ideal value during delivery. This makes prescription delivery smoother and faster when compared to previous discrete dose rates, enabling NCCC clinicians to cut VMAT delivery time by 30 percent.
“Elekta VMAT without Integrity would have taken 104 seconds to deliver the beams – which is still fast – but with Integrity we reduced beam delivery time to just 72 seconds,” says NCCC Chief Physicist, Shan Yau.
This 30 percent reduction in beam delivery time has allowed NCCC to decrease total treatment time from the 15 minutes required for 3D conformal radiation therapy to 10-minute VMAT treatments using Integrity, including patient set-up and imaging.
“Every minute saved gives us more flexibility with scheduling the daily patient workload on our Elekta Synergy® system, and affords the potential in the future of increasing the number of patients we can treat per day,” says NCCC Senior Physicist Sean White.
New applications on the horizon
NCCC treats 70-75 patients per day on its two Elekta Synergy systems, 10-12 (15 percent) of whom are patients with prostate cancer. Individuals with prostate, breast or head-and-neck cancers represent half of NCCC’s case volume, patients who NCCC clinicians believe could benefit from VMAT/Integrity speed.
“In a recent head-and-neck case, for example, we used the integrated imaging technology on the Elekta Synergy to perform cone-beam CT imaging acquisitions before and after the patient’s treatment, and found that the patient had moved from his starting position,” Van Tilburg recalls. Significantly shortening beam delivery time with VMAT/Integrity should reduce the likelihood of patient movement.”
With interdigitation enabled through Integrity, clinicians can create fields with complex geometry, which can be beneficial in challenging cases, such as those involving multiple targets, or for targets that require different dose objectives.
“It’s still in the early days, but so far we have noticed a slight reduction in monitor units when planning breast IMRT cases, and have observed that we are getting fewer ‘hot spots,’” White notes.
*Approval of indications may vary between different countries. Additional regulatory clearances may be required in some markets.
Elekta is a human care company pioneering significant innovations and clinical solutions for treating cancer and brain disorders. The company develops sophisticated, state-of-the-art tools and treatment planning systems for radiation therapy, radiosurgery and brachytherapy, as well as workflow enhancing software systems across the spectrum of cancer care. Stretching the boundaries of science and technology, providing intelligent and resource-efficient solutions that offer confidence to both healthcare providers and patients, Elekta aims to improve, prolong and even save patient lives.
Today, Elekta solutions in oncology and neurosurgery are used in over 6,000 hospitals worldwide. Elekta employs around 3,300 employees globally. The corporate headquarters is located in Stockholm, Sweden, and the company is listed on the Nordic Exchange under the ticker EKTAb. Website: www.elekta.com.