Ongoing refinements in Elekta Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT) have resulted in a next generation treatment method that Elekta calls “the definitive arc-based technique.”
Entering its third year of commercial availability, Elekta VMAT has garnered more than 200 orders, with many customers using the arc-based technique clinically since 2008. These clinical Elekta VMAT users have employed the method to treat hundreds of patients worldwide. With Elekta VMAT, single or multiple radiation beams sweep in uninterrupted arc(s) around the patient, reducing treatment times from eight to 12 minutes required for standard radiation therapy to as few as two minutes.
“As a pioneer in arc-based radiation treatment, we are gratified to see the clinical and practical benefits of Elekta VMAT afforded to many hundreds of patients around the world,” says Dee Mathieson, Senior Vice President, Oncology Business Line Management. “In addition, our efforts to refine VMAT planning and to integrate the technique with an electronic medical record [EMR] system have truly made Elekta VMAT a comprehensive treatment solution and the definitive arc-based technique on the market.”
The 2009 meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) featured numerous posters and presentations on Elekta VMAT studies. Summaries of selected studies:
• Casa di Cura S. Chiara, Firenze, Italy: VMAT v. IMRT plan comparisons for prostate cancer. Result: Retrospective VMAT plans would provide shorter treatment times and lower radiation dose (fewer MU’s).
• University Medical Center Mannheim, Germany: IMRT v. VMAT in treatment of spinal metastases. Result: IMRT is superior to 3D conformal in target coverage, but had treatment times averaging 10 minutes. VMAT also provided an excellent dose distribution, but recorded treatment times of less than four minutes and lower dose (fewer MU’s) compared to IMRT.
• William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Mich.: VMAT for stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) of lung and spine. Results: In two lung cases, VMAT reduced dose enough to enable SBRT. In three spine cases, radiation dose was reduced versus IMRT. Treatment times were decreased by up to 13 minutes or 59 percent.
At the University of Tokyo, clinicians led by Keiichi Nakagawa, M.D., radiation oncologist and professor in the department of radiology, have treated more than 60 prostate cancer patients with Elekta VMAT. The entire treatment takes just 10 minutes, encompassing patient room entry, imaging of the patient on the table to adjust treatment positioning, 100 seconds of VMAT beam-on-time and patient room exit.
Clinicians at University Medical Center Mannheim have been evaluating Elekta VMAT for a year, utilizing the technique for 15 patients with prostate or paraspinal tumors. This work confirmed for Mannheim doctors the ability of the Elekta treatment and control systems to deliver the radiation arcs rapidly and as specified in plans.
Patients with tumors in regions that are affected by motion, such as those in the lungs and prostate could benefit substantially from Elekta VMAT’s speed, according to Frank Lohr, M.D., vice chair, department of radiation oncology at Mannheim. It also is beneficial for patients whose pain makes prolonged treatment sessions undesirable.
“For patients with bone metastases, for example, it will be a lot easier for them to tolerate a one to two minute Elekta VMAT treatment compared to the current five to seven minute treatment per session,” he notes.
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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.
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.