China’s Heilongjiang Province Cancer Hospital Advances Patient Care with Monaco Planning Software from Elekta

A 49-year-old male with lung cancer receives radiotherapy treatment planned with Monaco software optimized for Elekta VMAT

Afghanistan — Monday, April 19, 2010

Elekta VMAT—an arc-based treatment technique setting a new standard of care—is now enhanced with Monaco® planning software. Heilongjiang Province Cancer Hospital recently became the first hospital in Asia to use the combined radiation therapy planning and delivery solution to treat a patient with a lung tumor.

Clinicians used Elekta VMAT to complete the initial treatment of the male 49-year-old Nehe City resident in eight minutes for the entire session. The same case would have taken up to 25 minutes using Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) with a standard delivery technique, says Yanling Bai, Ph.D., director of clinical physics and chief physicist, Heilongjiang Province Cancer Hospital, Harbin Medical University.

The Cancer Hospital has been using Elekta VMAT with Monaco planning since January and now averages 16 patients per day using this technique. The center plans to implement Elekta VMAT for a wide range of indications, including nasopharyngeal carcinoma and cancers of the prostate, rectum, cervix and lung (early stage).

Shortening treatment times is critical to increase access to radiation therapy in populous regions, Dr. Bai observes.

“High efficiency and high quality are both necessary, since we treat over 400 patients every day on six linear accelerators and a high dose-rate afterloader system,” he says. “With Monaco VMAT on our Elekta Synergy® treatment machine, we know that the dosimetric information is quite trustworthy, which gives us the certainty and confidence to treat many patients with high efficiency.”

Elekta VMAT drives clinical confidence and faster treatment times
With the Monaco enhancements, Elekta VMAT extends its clinical lead in multiple arc therapy. Virtually all aspects of the method are now optimized: planning and delivery hardware and software are comprehensive and robust.

With Elekta VMAT the treatment gantry—the part of the machine from which radiation beams originate—is in constant motion, with single or multiple gantry arc(s) sweeping around the patient. During these arc(s), the radiation intensity is continuously varied and modulated. This ensures a computer assisted delivery, according to the anatomical and tumor characteristics of the patient and the dose prescription. Using dynamic gantry arcs, Elekta VMAT results in significantly reduced treatment times, while providing a more personalized treatment.

In conventional “fixed gantry” therapy, the gantry makes several stops, which add to the overall treatment time and result in a longer session.

Elekta enhanced Monaco treatment planning software for a rotating gantry technique. Monaco treatment planning software has been used for many years in fixed gantry IMRT, and its Monte Carlo algorithm is widely considered the gold standard for dose calculation. Monaco VMAT benefits from the same superior Monte Carlo dose calculations as do fixed gantry methods. While planning treatments with Monaco VMAT, clinicians can use the Monte Carlo dose engine to accurately predict how much of a proposed radiation dose the target and normal tissues will receive. From there, they can fine tune or optimize the planned dose and radiobiological parameters to ensure the patient receives the most therapeutic Elekta VMAT treatment possible.

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