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RapidArc Radiotherapy Technology From Varian Medical Systems Treats Patients In Northwoods Cancer Center

Cancer patients at Northwoods Cancer Center near Houston, Texas are treated with new RapidArc radiotherapy technology from Varian Medical Systems which delivers image-guided intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) two to eight times faster than is possible with earlier radiotherapy technologies. "My treatments go very quickly," said Laxton, who receives a RapidArc treatment each weekday at Northwoods Cancer Center in Shenandoah, a Houston suburb. "I'm mid-way through my nine weeks of treatment and I'm grateful to say that I haven't experienced any serious side effects. In fact, during the actual treatment, I usually don't feel anything at all." "Mr. Laxton's treatments take only 80 seconds to complete once he has been positioned on the treatment couch, and treatments for our other RapidArc patients are going just as fast," said Christopher Phan, MD. "This makes things much easier and more comfortable for patients." "RapidArc is fast enough to reduce the chance of dose delivery error due to tumor motion," said Dr. Phan. "Further, our treatment plan comparisons show that dosimetrically, the RapidArc plans are often better than the traditional IMRT plans in sparing the healthy tissue around a tumor." RapidArc treatment increases convenience for patients and the potential for enhanced accuracy. The speed of a RapidArc treatment provides other potential benefits. Laboratory studies of the effect of radiation on cancer cells have suggested that faster treatments lead to a higher cancer cell kill rate.