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 obstr