French Cancer Center Doubles Patient Volume with VMAT Radiation Therapy Technique from Elekta
METZ, France, June 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — In just four years, Clinique Claude Bernard’s Private Radiotherapy Center (PRCM, Metz, France) will have doubled the number of patients receiving radiation therapy treatments per year – from 1,100 to a predicted 2,200 patients by the end of this year. This achievement was enabled by equipping first one, then all three of its Elekta SynergyÃ‚® treatment systems with Elekta VMAT (Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy). With VMAT, single or multiple radiation beams sweep in arc(s) around the patient, which can significantly reduce treatment times. On April 28, a patient with breast cancer became PRCM’s 2,500th to receive VMAT since the clinic began using the technique in 2009.
“We treat all disease sites with VMAT, including palliative patients,” says Guillaume Faure, M.D., co-director of radiation oncology at PRCM, the first center in France to use Elekta VMAT. “We started VMAT breast treatments last month and 37 patients per day are under treatment on one of our Synergy systems. Our early results show that VMAT increases homogeneity to the treated volume and reduces the irradiated lung volume. Skin reactions also are reduced since VMAT obviates the use of electron beams to treat the internal mammary lymph nodes, and precludes the use of radiation boost fields – which is the case for conventional 3D conformal therapy and Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy [IMRT] breast treatments.”
For breast VMAT, treatment time in some cases is reduced by 20 percent, since radiation therapists don’t have to reenter the room to set up electron fields, he adds.
“Using VMAT also speeds up pre-treatment quality assurance, decreasing PRCM’s staff workload (when compared to IMRT), while reducing the source of errors by decreasing the number of beams to transfer and verify,” says Romain Ruchaud, M.Sc., co-director of PRCM.
At PRCM, radiation therapy for a variety of disease sites now takes seconds to deliver rather than minutes:
- 102 seconds: head-and-neck
- 98 seconds: brain
- 81 seconds: rectum
- 79 seconds: prostate
- 79 seconds: lung
- 124 seconds: breast
- 61 seconds: metastases
Beyond treatment speed, VMAT offers patients with metastatic disease major quality of life advantages, Dr. Faure observes.
“Organ-at-risk sparing allows us to confidently employ hypofractionation schemes with no difference in toxicity, while reducing the number of treatment sessions and travel for the patient,” he says.
VMAT also has created new possibilities to emphasize treatment plan quality over speed.
“This can lead to delivery time increases of up to 30 percent and more dual arc treatment deliveries,” Dr. Faure notes. “However, we are now approaching dose distributions that are comparable to helical tomotherapy, but with much greater workflow efficiency. On a daily basis, VMAT is enabling us to raise the quality of patient care.”
*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 and radiosurgery, 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, making the future possible.
Today, Elekta solutions in oncology and neurosurgery are used in over 5,000 hospitals globally, and every day more than 100,000 patients receive diagnosis, treatment or follow-up with the help of a solution from the Elekta Group.
Elekta employs around 2,500 employees globally. The corporate headquarter is located in Stockholm, Sweden, and the company is listed on the Nordic Exchange under the ticker EKTAb. For more information about Elekta, please visit www.elekta.com.