Mountainview, California-based El Camino Hospital has purchased and installed RapidArc technology from Varian Medical Systems, Palo Alto, Calif. RapidArc is an image-guided, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) system that is designed to be faster than conventional IMRT.

Using a linear accelerator, RapidArc delivers a complete IMRT treatment with a single rotation of the treatment machine around the patient, focusing the radiation beam precisely.

In addition to shorter treatments, the system may also decrease the likelihood of the tumor being displaced due to such normal physiological processes as gas moving through the digestive system or the patient’s bladder filling during the treatment.

Robert Sinha, MD, a radiation oncologist at El Camino Hospital, explained in a press statement about the installation, “The prostate can shift by several millimeters as the bladder fills, which has the potential to compromise treatment accuracy. In the case of prostate cancer, when a treatment takes only 90 seconds to deliver, we are better able to deliver the dose right where we want it and spare the surrounding healthy tissue."

Sinha also noted that shorter treatment times can reduce the amount of scatter and leakage radiation to the rest of the body.

El Camino Hospital’s new Center for Advanced Radiotherapy and CyberKnife Radiosurgery opened on May of 2010, and is providing RapidArc treatments for cancers of the prostate, thorax, head and neck, and central nervous system, as well as other types of cancers.

Visit Varian or El Camino for more information.