BEIJING, and PALO ALTO, Calif., Oct. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Chongqing Cancer Hospital in Southwest China has become the first treatment center in Southwest China to offer cancer patients a faster, more precise form of image-guided radiotherapy that potentially enables doctors to improve outcomes while extending more advanced care to more patients. Clinicians at the hospital have used RapidArc® radiotherapy from Varian Medical Systems to treat patients for cancers of the nasopharynx, cervix, breast, and lung.
"RapidArc is a major step forward in cancer treatment," said Dr. Yongzhong Wu, M.D., vice president of the hospital and director of the Department of Radiation Therapy. "Compared with earlier forms of treatment, like 3-D conformal or even traditional intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), RapidArc is more precise, and faster, so patients have less disruption of their daily lives."
RapidArc delivers a precise and efficient treatment in a single or multiple arcs of the treatment machine around the patient. By varying the speed of rotation, the shape of the beam, and the dose delivery rate, doctors can use RapidArc to create finely-shaped dose distributions that closely match the size and shape of the tumor while sparing healthy tissues. Faster treatments allow for greater precision, since there is less chance of patient or tumor movement during treatment delivery. Shorter treatments also help to improve comfort by reducing the amount of time that patients must be immobilized on the treatment table.
"We recently treated a 50-year-old woman with cervical cancer," said Dr. Wu. "She came to us with irregular bleeding, abdominal pain, and abdominal distension. After a month of RapidArc treatments, her condition appeared to improve markedly. And she appears to have avoided many of the side effects commonly associated with conventional radiotherapy for cervical cancer, such as cystitis, intestinal obstruction, diarrhea, or constipation."
Dr. Wu's team compared RapidArc plans with conventional IMRT plans for several early-stage lung cancer cases. "The RapidArc plans offered better protection for the normal lung tissue as well as heart, spinal cord, and other organs," he said. "By sparing more lung tissue, we reduce the possibility of causing a common side effect called pneumonitis. For our early-stage nasopharyngeal cancer cases, RapidArc plans showed more effective protection of the salivary glands, optic nerve and lens, spinal cord, and brain stem." Studies show RapidArc has the potential to deliver superior treatments for both lung and nasopharyngeal cancer.(1)
ABOUT CHONGQING CANCER HOSPITAL
Chongqing Cancer Hospital is an oncology specific facility serving Chongqing City and surrounding areas of Southwest China. Equipped with state-of-the-art medical devices including Varian Clinac® linear accelerators and RapidArc® radiotherapy technology as well as MRI, CT, and SPECT imaging systems, the hospital offers surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and other comprehensive treatments for over 150,000 patients each year. The Radiation Oncology Department is staffed by 20 physicians, 8 physicists, and 14 technicians who deliver treatments using a full complement of simulation, quality assurance, treatment planning, and data management tools. In 2002, it became the first site in Southwest China to install CT-based simulation technology, and in 2003, became the first site in the region to offer intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT).
ABOUT VARIAN MEDICAL SYSTEMS
Varian Medical Systems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California, is the world's leading manufacturer of medical devices and software for treating cancer and other medical conditions with radiotherapy, radiosurgery, proton therapy, and brachytherapy. The company supplies informatics software for managing comprehensive cancer clinics, radiotherapy centers and medical oncology practices. Varian is a premier supplier of tubes and digital detectors for X- ray imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications and also supplies X-ray imaging products for cargo screening and industrial inspection. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 5,100 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America, Europe, and China and approximately 79 sales and support offices around the world. The company's center in Beijing, established three years ago, encompasses oncology equipment manufacturing operations, an educational center for radiotherapy clinical professionals, a customer service center, and X-ray Products assembly and service. For more information, visit http://www.varian.com/ascns.
(1) Selected References:
Radiotherapy and Oncology 95 2 (2010): 153-157.
Verbakel, Wilko F. A. R., et al. "Rapid Delivery of Stereotactic Radiotherapy for Peripheral Lung Tumors Using Volumetric Intensity-Modulated Arcs." Radiotherapy and Oncology 93 1 (2009): 122-124.
Kung, Shiris Wai Sum, et al. "Dosimetric Comparison of Intensity-Modulated Stereotactic Radiotherapy with Other Stereotactic Techniques for Locally Recurrent Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma." International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics In Press, Corrected Proof. Available online 10 April 2010.
SOURCE Varian Medical Systems