First Cancer Patients in Southern Hemisphere Receive Treatment with Elekta's Agility Beam-shaping Innovation for Radiotherapy
Clinicians at Australia's Riverina Cancer Care Centre report reductions in radiation beam delivery time with Agility
Transitioning from two Siemens treatment machines to two Elekta Synergy® radiotherapy systems equipped with Agility™* 160-leaf multi-leaf collimator (MLC), physicians at the Riverina Cancer Care Centre (RCCC) have been able to decrease beam delivery time by up to seven minutes for a variety of cancers. The RCCC treated its first patients using an Agility-equipped Elekta Synergy system on July 30, making the New South Wales facility first in the southern hemisphere to go clinical with the beam-shaping device.
"We have been very pleasantly surprised with the delivery speed of Agility, in addition to its beam-shaping accuracy," says Damien Williams, Riverina Cancer Care Centre Managing Director. "Reducing beam delivery time for complex IMRT treatments by up to seven minutes – from around 16 or 17 minutes with our previous system to 9 or 10 minutes with the Agility-equipped Synergy, this is a very significant efficiency and clinical benefit. The interdigitation capabilities of Agility enables far fewer segments for complex plans. We also have observed a marked difference in the precision we can achieve."
Agility precisely sculpts delivered radiation to the distinctive contours of the tumor, while reducing radiation exposure of healthy normal tissues. Agility also includes ultra-fast leaf movements – twice as fast as other MLCs commonly used in the industry.
As a unique public-private healthcare partnership, the Riverina Cancer Care Centre recently celebrated ten years of establishment. During that time, nearly 9000 patients have benefited by accessing the state-of-the-art service in Wagga Wagga, NSW. The Riverina Cancer Care Centre's selection of Elekta Synergy with Agility complements the organization's mission to provide world-class radiation oncology and medical oncology in a regional setting – ensuring that patients don't suffer the isolation and dislocation from family and friends for potentially life-saving treatment.
"Since we opened in 2002, we have been strongly committed to ensuring that patients in our regional catchment of nearly 250,000 inhabitants have access to the best possible healthcare – care and technology that is as good as that provided in metropolitan areas," he says. "It is vitally importantly that our patients have access to a state-of-the-art service. We knew that by installing an Elekta solution with cone beam CT and Agility, we would be providing the best available."
In Riverina's case, the best also means a no-waiting list policy. Patients have access to immediate care without the need to join a waiting list. The delivery speed of Agility will help ensure this strong commitment to the community remains unaltered, not only for today but for many years to come. Since July 30, 2012 the Riverina Cancer Care Centre has managed to bring its Elekta Synergy patient load up to an average of 40 patients per day with the capacity to significantly increase patient volume in the future.
"Many centers across the globe will move to using Agility," Williams says. "We feel very privileged and proud that our small regional cancer facility is the first in the southern hemisphere to clinically use this wonderful technology."
By December 2012, Riverina will be clinical with their second Elekta Synergy with Agility, allowing the center to increase capacity and treat even more regional patients close to home.
Read more about Agility at www.elekta.com/agility.