CASABLANCA, Morocco, Aug. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A 60-year-old prostate cancer patient has become the first person in North Africa to be treated using fast and efficient RapidArc® radiotherapy technology from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR). The pioneering treatment took place at Al Kindy Hospital, a leading private cancer clinic in Casablanca. Over 20 further prostate and head/neck cancer treatments have subsequently taken place using the advanced technology.
Doctors at Al Kindy say RapidArc has enabled them to give fast and precise treatments that deliver the prescribed dose to the tumor while limiting exposure to surrounding healthy tissue and organs. "RapidArc is a very effective way of improving the precision of our radiotherapy treatments, particularly for head and neck treatments, which are very common here in Morocco," says Hicham Tamri, medical physicist. "With RapidArc we are able to deliver the prescribed dose precisely while lowering the risk of complications such as dry mouth. For prostate patients, we can better reduce exposure of the bladder, urethra and rectum."
The advanced RapidArc system, which has been introduced clinically on the hospital's Varian Clinac® DHX medical linear accelerator, delivers precise image-guided IMRT (intensity modulated radiotherapy) up to four times faster than conventional IMRT. The RapidArc IMRT beam quickly delivers the dose while continuously rotating around the patient. Studies* show that faster treatments allow for greater precision, since there is less chance of patient or tumor movement during treatment delivery.
Mr. Tamri said the hospital had never offered IMRT treatments in the past but the acquisition of new equipment and software from Varian had enabled them to commence image-guided RapidArc treatments. "We will be using RapidArc rather than fixed-beam IMRT for all eligible cases in the future," he said.
Youssef Rihane, Varian's regional