RapidArc™ Image Guided IMRT
In keeping with its commitment to provide high standards of patient care, and maintain highly advanced capabilities, new, advanced technology for delivering RapidArc™ IG-IMRT is available at The George Washington University Hospital.
RapidArc radiotherapy technology, a fast, precise cancer treatment is a new approach to delivering image-guided, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IG-IMRT). RapidArc enables clinicians to program a medical linear accelerator to deliver precise forms of IMRT up to eight times faster than is possible with conventional or helical IMRT delivery systems.
RapidArc quickly delivers a complete IMRT treatment in a single rotation of the treatment machine around the patient, and the entire tumor volume receives the radiation dose in one revolution of the machine.
RapidArc represents a major medical advance in Radiation Oncology. IMRT treatments that previously required at least 10 to 15 minutes can be completed in less than two minutes, without a compromise in treatment quality.
Why Does Speed Matter?
Quicker RapidArc treatments are easier on patients, who do not need to hold still for long periods of time to avoid movement that could compromise treatment accuracy. By reducing the time it takes to deliver IMRT and other highly-precise forms of radiation therapy, RapidArc has the potential to improve the quality of care and patient comfort.
RapidArc is well suited for a variety of anatomical sites, including prostate and head and neck cancer cases. RapidArc plans conform the treatment beam more closely to the tumor shape and protect the surrounding healthy tissues.
RapidArc treatments are delivered on a medical linear accelerator that is outfitted with an On-Board Imager™ kV imaging system, which uses images to guide patient placement and treatment delivery. During a RapidArc treatment, the radiation is shaped and reshaped as it is continuously delivered from virtually every angle in a 360-degree revolution around the patient.
The beam shaping is accomplished using an important accessory called a multileaf collimator (MLC), a device with 120 computer-controlled mechanical “leaves” or “fingers” that can move to create openings of different shapes and sizes. During a RapidArc treatment, proprietary software varies three parameters simultaneously: the speed of rotation around the patient, the shape of the MLC aperture, and the dose delivery rate.
The Benefits of RapidArc Radiotherapy
Cancer patients in the Washington, DC metro area now have access to incredible advances in technology at The George Washington University Hospital Radiation Center. Treatments that once took 10 to 15 minutes can be finished in less than two minutes. For patients who are receiving radiation treatment daily over several weeks, that can make a significant difference. Combined with IMRT and image guidance, RapidArc affords patients a wider variety of treatment options based on their specific clinical circumstances.