Denmark's Odense University Hospital Works to Make Elekta VMAT its Mainstream Radiation Therapy Technique

Faster arc-based method could help increase the number of patient treatments per day.

Afghanistan — Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Odense University Hospital (OUH, Odense, Denmark), a major multi-specialty medical center serving southern Denmark, joined the global community of Elekta VMAT clinical sites last fall when it began treating patients with the arc-based technique. With Elekta VMAT, single or multiple radiation beams sweep in uninterrupted arc(s) around the patient, significantly reducing treatment times.

Shorter prostate treatment
OUH physicians used Elekta VMAT for the first time to treat a patient with prostate cancer. Because Elekta VMAT enables the treatment beam to complete non-stop therapy arcs, clinicians were able to perform the one-arc treatment in a 10-minute session, shaving two minutes off the time needed to conduct an advanced IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy) treatment.

“The time-savings over successive Elekta VMAT cases could help us treat additional patients per day,” says Knud Aage Werenberg, head physicist at OUH. “We would like to offer VMAT as the standard treatment for selected patient groups before this summer.”

The two-minute decrease in treatment time may also reduce the chance that the patient or tumor will move during the treatment session, he adds.
In a study, OUH established Elekta VMAT’s speed and quality versus IMRT several months before the Danish medical center initiated its clinical VMAT program . “We generated Elekta VMAT plans for 25 patients with head and neck cancer,” he says. “The results showed that the Elekta VMAT target coverage and sparing of organs-at-risk would be equivalent or superior to the IMRT plan, while reducing beam-on time by 35 percent.”

OUH has used the technique to treat an additional 11 patients, with prostate, head and neck and lung cancers.

Presently, OUH delivers Elekta VMAT on one of its four Elekta Synergy® treatment systems. The center operates two additional Elekta linear accelerators and two treatment machines from another provider. OUH treats approximately 180 patients daily on these eight systems.

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