PRESS RELEASE Stockholm, Sweden, June 29, 2007 Elekta, a world leader in advanced radiation therapy and radiosurgery treatments, has recently been awarded an order to supply two Elekta Synergy® systems to The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. Included within the order is one HexaPOD™ 6D robotic patient positioning system and a full MOSAIQ™ electronical medical records and networking software suite.
Elekta Synergy® is the most advanced and clinically proven cancer treatment system with intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and advanced 3D image guided radiation therapy (IGRT), allowing clinicians to both image and treat patients in the same frame of reference, at the time of treatment. This innovative new radiation therapy treatment system directly addresses the three most persistent and significant problems in modern radiation therapy: external patient movement, internal organ motion, and errors in overeall patient set-up. The result is unmatched clinical confidence for precise tumor targeting, enabling more aggressive treatment of tumors while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
A top ranked NHS trust with five IGRT systems from Elekta
The Royal Marsden Hospital was the first hospital in the world dedicated to cancer treatment and research into the causes of cancer. Today the hospital with its academic partner, The Institute of Cancer Research, form the largest comprehensive cancer centre in Europe with over 40,000 patients from the UK and abroad seen each year.
The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust is ranked as one of the top two NHS trusts in the country in the new NHS national performance rankings.
Previously equipped with three Elekta Synergy systems in routine clinical operation, the Trust has now decided to further enhance its capacity and capabilities with additional treatment systems and software solutions from Elekta.
"The purchase of these two additional Elekta Synergy systems will make The Royal Marsden one of the best equipped Radiotherapy Centers in the UK, with five fully operational IGRT treatment systems from Elekta”, commented Jim Warrington, Head of Radiotherapy Physics at The Royal Marsden Hospital. “After extensive evaluation of available technology, it became apparent to the evaluation team that Elekta Synergy is an extremely effective 3D IGRT solution. When this is used in conjunction with a variety of intensity modulated and arc based delivery techniques, there is a very exciting prospect of delivering the most advanced radiotherapy treatments in the world. These developments should both improve patient outcomes and quality of life without compromising patient throughput within the department", Warrington concluded.
Apparent need for additional treatment capacity in the UK
Although the UK National Health Services has made extensive investments during this decade in additional capacity for radiation therapy, there is a continued strong pressure for further improvement of treatment capacity throughout the nation.
A recent scientific article concluded that “To secure adequate access to treatment and optimal dose fractionation, substantial increases in radiotherapy activity of 92% in England, 61% in Scotland and 97% in Wales are required. Achieving this will require a planned programme of investment in staff, training and equipment.”(1)
The National Radiotherapy Advisory Group (NRAG) recently submitted a report to the UK Government concluding: “There is a general consensus among experts that the projected need for radiotherapy was significantly underestimated 15-20 years ago. There is a large gap (63%) between current activity levels and optimal treatment levels, if radiotherapy were to be given to all who might benefit. The position is set to worsen as cancer incidence increases with the ageing population.”(2)
At present, the NHS delivers around 30,000 radiation therapy fractions per million inhabitants. NRAG strongly recommends that NHS radiotherapy services should be developed to deliver up to 54,000 fractions per million inhabitants throughout the country by 2016.
“Through our technology leadership in advanced radiation therapy, Elekta has developed strong relationships with The Royal Marsden and many other NHS Trusts. We are proud to be a part of the ongoing efforts to develop new and innovative treatment methods as well as improve treatment capacity in the UK”, commented David Miles, Elekta’s UK Business Unit Managing Director
(1) Radiotherapy Dose Fractionation, Access and Waiting Times in the Countries of the UK in 2005 - Williams, M. V. et al. Clinical Oncology, 2007.
(2) Radiotherapy: developing a world class service for England - Report to Ministers from National Radiotherapy Advisory Group, February 2007